A man joined a remote monastery deep in the woods followed a rigid vow of silence. Their vow could only be broken once a year. That monk could speak only two words. He went in after one year of being there and to see the Abbot and said, “Bed Hard” 365 days later he got to speak again he went in to see the Abbot and said, “Food Bad” 365 days later he got to speak again he went in to see the Abbot and said, “I quit” The abbot said, “That doesn’t surprise me! You’ve done nothing but complain the whole time you’ve been here!”
Do you ever find it easy to complain? I do. I want to stop and I hope you’ll join me.
Ever been around people who thought they were holy, mature believers but were actually just cantankerous? We only wish their complaints were two words! Cantankerous is not holy or mature but immature. When our children argue and whine do we say, how mature you are?
I know that sounds pretty basic but I believe that 90% of the problems facing the church would be solved if we would stop complaining get unified about reaching people for Christ.
Churches waste so much energy thinking and acting in ways that cut each other down and doubt each other and question each other – instead they need to rally to each other, helping and working together for the common purpose of reaching people for Christ and helping believers KNOW Christ and GROW to be like Him!
I am proud to say we have very little of this compared to many churches. But this is why I talk about it even though it’s not a problem it can quickly become one. You need to know that complaining is not acceptable, not mature and not helpful. Paul reminds us why we shouldn’t complain or argue:
15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life. Philippians 2:15
When I chose NOT to complain I will:
- Be appreciated for not causing trouble. “blameless” “without fault”
Complaining is draining. It causes trouble and kills the moral a group trying to work together. When the moral is down who’s to blame? The one who complains! When you choose NOT to complain, you make things so much easier. You are liked. A few years back, I coached soccer and before the season started when I only had a list of kids, the director said, “by the way, you have a trouble making mom on your team, she likes to complain.” “Great!” I thought. “Thanks for the heads up.” I said. What that made me do was to look at the rest of the team and appreciate the fact that they were not “trouble makers.” When you choose NOT to complain you are appreciated!
- Have Integrity “pure.”
Non-complainers are people of integrity. Paul says non-complainers are “pure” meaning they are not defiling or polluting those around them. Complaining is verbal pollution. Choose to be pure to those around you. Vomiting out every aspect of what you don’t like or agree with on a regular basis is “crooked and depraved.”
- Truly represent God as his child “children of God without fault.”
When we complain and argue we are not good children of God we are more like “BRATS OF GOD” or “children of the devil.”
- Stand out like a light in darkness
We are told to “shine like stars.” You may remember the song we learned as children “This little light of mine, I am going to shine.” But the truth is greater than that, we are not called to be “little lights” we are called to be “bold, blazing, life giving, STARS!!!
But one thing is for sure, “The grumbling has got to go before the shining can start!” We don’t need to be shout or scream or make a scene we just need to shine. We do that by living a life free of complaining and arguing.
Our culture is so negative, so dark. When I choose to not complain the contrast is obvious. You will shine like a star in the middle of a dark night. You will stand out as truly different to not be a complainer, to not be critical, to not be a put-down person, when you become that, you will shine like a star.
Don’t whine, shine!
Prayer: God I pray for each of us that we would conquer the urge to complain. I pray that we would seek to be blameless, pure and shine like a star by choosing to do everything without complaining and arguing.” Amen.