are you a complainer?

Have you ever asked yourself this question?  Am I a complainer or am I content?

I’m willing to take a bet that most of us would jump at the chance to say that we’re content but let us reflect for a moment.  When life rubs us the wrong way our natural tendency is to complain.  Think about it…half the time we probably don’t even realize we are complaining.  Not only that but we will complain to anyone in the vicinity about how unsatisfied we are with whatever is ailing us at that particular moment if we think there is a chance they are feeling the same way.  You’ve heard the saying “Misery loves company”.  Well, there is a lot of truth to that statement.

That’s all it takes, a small complaint has then turned into a root of rot.  It burrows down causing resentment and anger inside of us and taking whoever was around us for a not-so-good ride.  Chances are the complaint was about something that really wasn’t a big deal in the first place.  Nevertheless, the enemy’s mission has been accomplished and joy has been robbed.

In my last post we discussed the things we think about and how they affect us.  It is completely normal to get angry or upset when we are wronged and there comes a time when we have to address those wrongs.  However, there is a difference between that and being a complainer about things that probably occur on a day-to-day basis.  For example:  Every day you hit traffic on the way to work.  Do you complain?  Every day you have to clean the morning’s breakfast dishes.  Do you complain?
Every day you are short-staffed at work.  Do you complain?  Perhaps you feel stuck in your lot in life and maybe you want a different life completely, so you complain about not having something better.

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that
no one can criticize you.  Live clean, innocent lives as children
of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and
perverse people.”
Philippians 2:14-15 NLT
 

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Oh my, I don’t know about you but those words hit me like a ton of bricks.  Do EVERYTHING without COMPLAINING or ARGUING.  There it is sisters, in black and white.  We are called to live clean, innocent lives that shine like bright lights.  That is a great commission and from the looks of it complaining and arguing adversely affect our very call.

You may be wondering how big of a deal is it to God if we spend our days and nights grumbling away about how unfair everything is?  I mean does it really make a difference?  After all, they are just words and there is no harm in venting.  Sometimes we like to sidestep certain verses just because it’s easier to “forget” about them.  Don’t buy into that lie, our thoughts and our complaints matter very much indeed.

Let me remind you about the Israelites in the wilderness and their little complaints.  They complained about not having enough water, they complained about the manna that God provided, they complained because they didn’t have meat, and they complained about the giants that resided in their promise land.  Stuck forty years in the wilderness I’m sure I would have fallen into that trap and done some whining too, especially in the company of like-minded miserable people.  By the way, having a crowd of displeased people around you doesn’t make your complaining okay.  The complaints from many voices will not drown yours out, for God hears each one of us individually.  God heard the Israelites and He answered.

“But even after all he did, you refused to trust the LORD your
God, who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you with a 
pillar of fire by night and and a pillar of cloud by day.
“When the LORD heard your complaining, he became very angry.  
So he solemnly swore, ‘Not one of you from this wicked 
generation will live to see the good land I swore to give your ancestors'”
Deuteronomy 1:32-35 NLT
The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they
wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.  Instead, they
grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD.
Therefore, he solemnly swore that he would kill them in the 
wilderness, that he would scatter their descendants among the
nations, exiling them to distant lands.”
Psalms 106: 24-27 NLT
 
 complainerorcontent

The Israelites were a people who were looking at their cup as half-empty.  How many times have I been guilty of this very thing?  Instead of seeing how blessed we are in a situation our perception becomes skewed and we focus on what we are unhappy with.  What a challenge today to change our perception and to see the beauty in the mundane.  Perhaps we are a generation that takes too much for granted or maybe it is the culture we live in that teaches us that we can never have enough.  I say it’s a combination of the two with sin as the cherry on top.  Only when we are willing to take an honest assessment of our hearts can we see how short we fall.

“And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were
destroyed by the angel of death.  These things happened to
them as examples for us.  They were written down to warn
us who live at the end of the age.”
1 Corinthians 10:10-11  NLT
 

Oh Lord, may we please learn to have a heart of gratitude instead of a grumbling one.  Can I ask you today to take a moment and thank the Lord for all He has done in your life?  Take notice of the little blessings around you that millions go without.  I found myself being grateful for running water in my home and air-conditioning in this blazing summer heat.  I thanked the Lord that I have all of my limbs and I’m able to stand on both of my own two feet each morning, that I have a car to drive, and well the list goes on and on.

When you take notice of the smaller blessings you’ll be that much more grateful for the larger ones.  If you’re busy being thankful for everything out of an abundant heart you will not have the time nor the desire to complain.  Then eventually your cup will not only be half-full, it will be completely filled.

Many blessings to you,
 mysignature

 

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  • Lord, give me a heart of gratitude. Pain blinds us so much that in an instant, we lose sight of all God has done and begin to grumble, even though it compounds the situation. Lately, I've learned to focus more on the blessings of the Lord, regardless of what I'm going through. And, I have found it helpful. Just yesterday, I decided to be writing 5 things I'm grateful for, on a daily basis. I believe that will help get rid of the negativity.

    • That is awesome Jane! Those are solid steps towards living more abundantly. I'm noticing how we have to be so much more intentional about being grateful. Grumbling comes so easily. Thank you for sharing and God bless you!

    • Oh God bless you Rachel and praise the Lord. I myself find that I can become agitated and God will send me a reminder to check myself so that I can turn it around. God is so good to us! Thank you for your comment 🙂

  • Thank you Natalie for your post “are you a complainer ? or are you content?” It was something my heart and mind needed today.

  • Such true words. I know this can be a very real struggle for me. Thank you for sharing the Biblical insights you have in this area!

    God bless,
    Patty

  • Natalie, that was amazing and just what I needed this morning. I try to think I’m amazingly positive, but I have a feeling, when I begin to examine my words closely, I will find a different reality. Thank you for this!

    Mari

    • Dearest Mari,
      It wasn’t until I made myself pay attention and make a conscious effort to keep from complaining that I realized how often I did it. I’m so thankful that God pointed this out in me so that He can peel it away.

    • You’re very welcome Elaine,
      This post topic always has me self-reflecting. His words cause me to do a heart check and keep my lips shut. It’s always a work in progress but He’s definitely doing a work in me.

    • Dearest Diane,
      We all fall into that trap from time to time. Believe me when I say that those scriptures are for myself as much as they are for anyone else.

  • Beautiful article Natalie. Before becoming a Christian I never even thought complaining was a bad thing. But since becoming Christian, it has really convicted me of keeping a positive attitude, in good and bad. I love Colossians 3:24, Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. We are to do good for Him, not for us.

    • Thank you so much Amy,
      I’m so glad that this post has enlightened you. I continue to learn every single day and I’m so overjoyed when God brings revelation through His word. Praise Jesus!

    • Thank you so much Abbey,
      It’s something that I have to keep in check constantly. I try to think about all things honorable and pleasant before dwelling on the bad. Thank you Jesus.

  • My first time reading your blog. The title caught my eye as I know I complain when I shouldn’t because I know better.
    There’s one more Scripture I would consider using, Matthew 12:36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.” This verse should stop us in our tracks.
    I’ll be back again to read more on your blog, which by the way, is very pleasant to look at and very easy to read.
    Thank you so much for your message today.

    • So happy you stopped by Cindy and I hope to hear from you again : )
      Thank you for that verse. It’s truly profound and right on point!