I am so excited that we've reached part 3 of this Bible study series.
Our scripture base is:
Philippians 2:14 AMP - "Do everything without murmuring or questioning [the providence of God], 15 so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent anduncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness]..."
Ephesians 4:29 - Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
As I write this post I recall that one day I was talking to God about how annoyed I was that the husband He gave me didn't throw out the trash, and the receptacle was too far for me to walk to with the baby being as heavy as he was and the trash being as heavy as it was. When I was done, the Holy Spirit pointed out to me that I wasn't praying, I was complaining to God, and slapping on "Amen" at the end. I wasn't communicating with God,but I was talking at God! Put like that, I felt an immediate shame that led to repentance.
Who was I, that I dared to talk AT the God of the universe who breathe the breath of life into me? I'll tell you, I was Adam's daughter. In Genesis 3:12 Adam complained to God that the woman God gave him caused him to sin. According to Adam, Eve wasn't a good enough help mate to help Adam control himself so he complained about her. What's crazy here is that Adam's complaint was a judgement of God. And how dare Adam judge God right? Well, it's what I did when I complained to God, about my husband not staying on top of the trash removal. Never mind that I fasted several times before marrying my husband and God confirmed we were to be together as man and wife. Never mind that our lives had drastically changed since having our son was and we both needed to adjust. I was being led by my exhaustion and emotions, and could not see that my hubby was also tired and therefore forgetting things.
When we complain about the people in our lives, especially the ones we've chosen and the relationships we know are God-ordained, we judge God. Complaining against family and friends constantly says, "God You made a mistake, that You need to fix." It exposes our pride, in that we refuse to examine ourselves to see how we could be better.
The Bible says love is long-suffering and doesn't count wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:4-7), so when we constantly complain, we rise up in pride and our attitude says, "God I won't submit to Your Word, I won't suffer long and be patient through this. I'm going to complain, instead of controlling my mouth and being grateful. I am going to release division into the atmosphere because I am currently not satisfied, and until I'm satisfied, God, You and this person are going to hear about it." I know, it sounds like utmost irreverence and disrespect, but it is the unfortunate spiritual reality of complaining. But unfortunately, even after we've complained to God and called it prayer, we end up nagging others with our complaints, and filling their ears with spiritual garbage. We ought to value others more.
There is a difference between expressing a grievance and complaining. Wen you express a grievance you're looking for a solution that benefits the whole, complaining is to benefit the self. In our heart, you complain because you're looking for pity and miserable company. When you express a grievance you're looking for guidance and assurance. The thing about it is, many times when we complain to friends or others about people in our lives, we are merely looking for validation to be spiritually immature. Because if homegirl really was such a bad friend, you already know that the relationship should be ended. If your husband really is beyond communication, you know to get a counselor. Complaining is the product of indiscipline and not seeking help.
When you have a genuine grievance, that too can become a complaint when you rely on someone else to control whether or not they stay in your personal life. If you know your cousin doesn't mean you any well, and they continue to deplete you and your resources selfishly and doesn't help build you in any way, does it matter that you guys share genetics? After expressing a grievance to a trusted source and seeking wisdom, if you refuse to act, and continue to grieve you've moved into complaining, and looking for pity for your situation. When you've moved pass looking for guidance and moved into pity, you're complaining.
Beloved, don't give way to complaining. Cut yourself off every time. If your church is so bad, your cousin so terrible, your friend so selfish, pray on it and ask God if you ought to stay put or move on. If God tells you to move, don't stay. Don't complain about your spouse to other people either, they are less forgiving than you plan on being. Don't complain to God about your spouse, instead pray for God to teach you how to communicate, and help you control your emotions so that you can be example, and give room to the Holy Spirit to create change in your spouse.
I think we forget that we can't change anyone, and even though people say they change for us, the truth is, they change because they want to be worthy of what we represent in their lives. Nonetheless, only God can change hearts, and it is our job to invite the Holy Spirit to invade all of our interactions so that each party goes away better. In the example I gave of my own life, I simply needed to package the trash and set aside so my husband could take it out the next morning before work, and express to him that I need the trash taken out. When I prayed, I needed to pray that God would help me to submit to His Word, that whether the trash moves or not, I would not grieve Him.
Think about it beloved... Selah
P.S. I WROTE A BOOK- AHHHHHHH! Broke Down Christians is available here for a signed copy and bookmark, and here on Amazon.com.