Monday, November 3, 2008

Grumble! Grumble! Grumble!

Not too long ago I read a story about a woman who decided she wasn’t going to complain anymore. Reading in the Bible, she realized how much the Israelites grumbled about their situation over and over again, and how unacceptable that was to God. After thinking about that, she put herself to the test and made a promise not to complain at all for just one day. Only then did she realize how much she was prone to complaining about things! She kept doing this – one day at a time – catching herself whenever she began to complain about something, and soon enough it became part of her nature to catch herself if she was about to complain, and she is now someone who pretty much never complains! Talk about a great person to be around! She even brought this rule into her household with her children. If her kids were complaining about something – dinner wasn’t what they wanted, they had too much homework, etc, etc – she would say, “if you’re going to complain, write it in a 2000 word essay about why you don’t like it and why it’s unfair you have to do it, etc.” Well that got her kids to stop complaining pretty quick too!
I absolutely loved reading about this woman. What an example! We are so used to complaining… maybe not necessarily going on and on about something, but little things we say or expressions we use can be their own form of complaining. Is that something God really wants to hear? Is that something anyone wants to hear?
Look at a few of these definitions of “grumble” and “complain”:

  • show one's unhappiness or critical attitude
  • make complaining remarks or noises under one's breath
  • a discontented disposition
  • express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness
  • to express dissatisfaction
  • find fault
I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want those words associated with myself/my attitude. That is not the character of Christ in any way, and we are supposed to be reflecting Him. With characteristics like this related to us because of our tendency to complain or grumble, we are not reflecting Christ. What a conviction! And what a great reminder of something to pray for the Spirit’s help with.

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