STOP COMPLAINING PT. 2
This week’s Bible study is on complaining. Recently, I found my mouth letting out words of ungratefulness and discontentment. I had to catch myself mid-complaint and say, “do all things without grumbling and complaining. Yes, you’re tired LaShonda and you really need a break, but do ALL things without grumbling and complaining.” The crazy part of all this was, I really thought that verse, Philippians 2:14, meant don’t let the words come out of my mouth, deeper study showed me, it wasn’t even supposed to be in my heart.
Philippians 2:14-15 NKJV “Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world...”
I began looking up what complaining and disputing meant in the Greek, and found that to complain means to secretly debate, which verifies that Paul’s message to the church at Philippi meant for them to control their attitudes, not just their tongues. When we have an attitude of complaining, we can still obey God’s will, it’s just that we do so finding fault every step of the way. This displeases God, and it is sin.
I looked up the term disputing and it means to doubt, and it is the same Greek word used when Jesus appeared to His disciples after the resurrection in Luke 24:36 NKJV “And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?” Even when He showed them His hands and feet, they did not believe it was Jesus. I am led to conclude that when we do things with disputing it shows that we are struggling to believe in Jesus and His place and power in our lives.
What’s makes this verse resound even deeper in my heart is the reason we ought not to complain, and it is because we are light, and need to be found blameless in a perverse world. Given that complaining is the fruit of doubt and sometimes laziness. By our complaining aloud, we demonstrate that we don’t truly believe in the Jesus we are proclaiming in these social media statuses and we aren’t committed to working so that others might believe also. You see, complaining is not just an outward action but it is a disposition of the heart. When you doubt God, you begin to complain and make excuses about why you can’t and won’t complete an assignment or change. It says:
God won’t provide for the assignment.
Maybe I didn’t really hear from God
I can’t do it
I want to be lazy and not do any of the work in this obedience process
If it’s God’s will then He will make the path smooth under my feet
It’s crazy how much we complain. What’s even worst is when we complain about having a full plate, forgetting that we prayed for many of those things on our plate. Listen beloved, a full plate, equals a full belly, but in order for the belly to get full you and I have to actually eat. Eating is actual work! You prayed for that job and viewed it as a dream come true for the first few months, and now you just complain. You complain about having to go to the job, complain about the pay, complain about the supervisor. You find yourself more excited to clock out than you are to be productive, before you even get to work.
Some of us pray for God to use us in mighty ways, we want God to take us to the nations, but how can He take us to the nations when we can’t stop complaining about our assignments, our families or our friends? The time we spend complaining could be spent praying, and listening for the voice of The Father. When you complain, you minimize God to yourself and those who are listening to you. You wallow in self-pity and become stagnant in purpose, and we know that stagnant water is the breeding ground for mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. For a believer these disease look like fear and rebellion.
Last year (2016) was rough, those who weren’t just trying to hold on until the end, complained their way to the end, looking forward with great hope to 2017. Now, I see and hear some of those same people complaining that they can’t wait for 2017 to be over. What? Complaining is such a bad habit for us to have. We become ungrateful, and chase a better tomorrow, but tomorrow is only better because of choices made today.
Complaining says the following about you:
You have a problem with God’s Sovereignty and authority
You’re discontent as a Christian and therefore have a problem with God’s Sovereignty
You have a problem believing Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and you need a sign of proof
Even when your actions demonstrate obedience, your heart and head are at war with God’s will.
You constantly battle envy and covetousness and struggle to be grateful.
You don’t count the cost of the blessings you ask for.
You need to serve more. People who serve are propelled toward gratitude.
HOW TO COMBAT COMPLAINING THIS WEEK:
Thank God for everything you want to complain about. When your boss gets on your nerves and you want to complain and say, “I can’t wait for Friday to get out of here...” try, “LORD, thank You for this job that is maturing me as a believer.”
Stop yourself, the Word of God ought to be hidden in us that we won’t sin against Him (Psalm 119:11), so let’s live that out! If you find complaints slipping through your mouth, heart or mind, STOP YOURSELF mid-complaint and say Philippians 2:14, “do all things without grumbling and complaining.”
Be honest. There is nothing wrong with saying, “God, I am becoming emotionally weary with this job, but I am thankful that my hope and fulfillment are in You and not this job. Revive my passion for this job, and in the process, let me be grateful always for an income, show me how to have a balance so that I don’t feel weary when I enter the doors for work.”
Beloved there is a difference between complaining and venting, and I pray God gives you the wisdom to discern between the two. When you vent you feel released, when you complain you feel even more bound in a situation. Christ died for us to have liberty, and when the windows of heaven open to pour upon a blessing, it is not so we can waste time complaining, but so we can spend time lavishing love on God and others by living well with those blessings and gifts. Kick ungratefulness, self-pity, and rebellion out of you life!
Grace & Peace Beloved