Ladies (and any gentlemen who may be reading as well), I have a challenge for you; and it’s really not that hard! But before I present it to you, let’s go over a little background.
I was in church the other day when one of our pastors started to talk about complaining. He brought up the oh-so-famous verse that my mother had ingrained in us since birth, I’m sure: “Do everything with out complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure children of God.” Philippians 2:14.
(side note: I LOVE little kids songs that are pure Scripture. Sure, they may be kind of old-school and cheesy, but I remember so many verses because of them! It’s also how I remember the books of the Old Testament and New Testament (you know you do too). When I have kids one day, I’m totally busting out the old children’s Scripture tapes. They’ll thank me when they’re older.)
Back to out regularly scheduled programming.
So he brought up this verse that could easily be skipped over, and said this about it: “Everything” literally means Everything! See, often times in the Bible, we don’t have English words that truly correlate with the Hebrew or Greek, so we look it up in the original language to discover what the text is honestly saying.
In this case, the English word was spot on. Everything.
Are you a complainer? I don’t really think of myself as a complainer — I love life, and I’m happy to be living it! But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself doing it more and more. Have you found yourself saying any of these things?
“I can’t wait until this day is over so I can rest.”
“This work day has been so long!”
“My feet hurt…”
“You could have at least put the dishes away.”
I know I have. And even though I may not have meant it as a complete downer, is it really life-giving? I think not.
It would be great if we could make excuses. You know, like, “It’s okay to complain if it’s just a little thing and you aren’t truly angry about it. It’s just expressing yourself so you don’t explode later.” To be honest, I think it is important to let some things out so that you’re not boiling over inside with frustration. But remember that word? Everything? Yeah.
Let’s look at the why: “So that you may become blameless and pure children of God.”
Yes! That sounds wonderful. To be bringing yourself closer to purity and closer to God sounds like a beautiful thing, and it is. We are called to be a light in this world, and complaining is only going to display the world, not the Kingdom. We have to be different, not only for our sakes, but for the sake of others.
Our pastor was saying that no longer do we initiate conversations with others based on the weather or politics, but oftentimes the basis of conversations (or at least the beginning of them) is a complaint — perhaps about their day or the choice of a public figure.
So here’s your challenge. For one week, don’t complain. If you have a problem, bring it up calmly and politely. If you just want to talk about how long your day was or how much pain you’re in or how irritating your co-workers are, don’t. Just for a week. Then see how you feel.
It’s just one simple step to following in the ways of Christ. After all, He was silent before His accusers. Not much complaining there.
Love you all!