Have you complained yet today? I mean…you know…been frustrated or discouraged about something and expressed that with your mouth? You could have knocked me over with a feather when one of my kids described me as a “complainer” the other day. I did not realize just how much I vocalized my feelings. I mean, I already know that I talk a lot. And that generally means sharing a lot of what I think. I am not much of a mystery (as most of you readers probably figured out already!). But, I was challenged. Just because I think something negative about my circumstances does not mean I need to speak it.
Do you have any problems with that? Or am I alone in this propensity? Do you complain when an activity you were looking forward to is canceled due to weather? Do you complain when your husband comes home late for dinner? When your children leave their things on the floor right where you walk? Or perhaps when you are doing your gazillionth load of laundry?
It is human nature, isn’t it? I would go even further and say that it is of our flesh…our old nature. It is not of the Spirit. It is not a fruit of our new nature. You see, I think complaining is one of those things that we often do without even thinking. We don’t even realize the sinfulness of it because it is a habit. And habits are hard to break.
But Paul tells us in Galatians that we are new creatures. Old things have passed away. There should be a battle going on when we sin. Galatians 5:16&17 says “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
As has happened so many times in the past…God has brought something to my attention that is sin. It is not just a bad habit that is annoying to my family. It is not just something that I say that sounds ungrateful and unloving. It not just a vocalization of a discontent heart. It is sin.
The funny thing is…and I don’t know if you find this to be true in your own life…but I am not discontent. I am not ungrateful. I thank the Lord often for the many blessings in my life. I find that I just have this tendency to speak my mind when something doesn’t suit me. James 3 talks about just how powerful the tongue is. Perhaps thinking before opening my mouth would be a good start to ridding myself of the habit of complaining!
If you don’t struggle with this, you can thank the Lord that you are not like me. But if you do, I hope that I have helped you see that you are not alone and that I have given you cause to think before you speak today. Because it is never appropriate to whine about our circumstances!