I live in a society full of complainers. I don’t like to admit it, but I am among their number. Those of us who belong to the Fellowship of Complainers, complain about anything and everything. In the Winter…it is too cold. In the Summer…it is too hot. Our co-workers are either lazy or workaholics. Our boss is insensitive. Our spouses don’t appreciate us like they should. Our kids are ungrateful. Personally, we are too tired, overworked, or under the weather. We don’t have enough money or time. We have too much stress and too many problems.
I’m learning some valuable lessons about complaining. First of all, complaining to people rarely, if ever, solves my problems. If anything, complaining to people magnifies my problems because most people will join right in with the chorus of “whining.” Those who don’t whine, are prone to tell me to suck it up and get tough without trying to help me see a purpose in my troubles. Secondly, complaining reveals the true nature of my heart. When I complain I show my lack of gratitude for the many blessings that God has given me. Complaining also reveals that I really don’t trust God to use my troubles for His glory and my growth.
David was a complainer, but his complaining was different than mine. David took his complaints to God. David told God about all of his troubles. This is the only expression of our complaints that can benefit us. Job complained to God and God corrected Job’s thinking in a way that changed his thinking from that day forward. After God corrected Job, he confessed, 1… “Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 ‘I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.'” (Job 42:1-2 NIV) Elijah complained. He told God, “… I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” (1 Kings 19:14 NIV) Elijah was so fed up, so frustrated that he wanted to die, but God answered him. God said, 18 “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel–all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18 NIV) God corrected Elijah’s math and it changed his life from that day forward.
If I take my complaints to God then something is going to happen. He will either correct my thinking or show me how He is using my troubles to glorify His name and bring about the growth in my life that He desires. I’m going to make a concerted effort today to refuse to complain. If I feel an overwhelming need to whine or bellyache, then I will take it to God and not to people.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will replace my complaints with a grateful heart. When I am being eaten up by something that is bothering me, give me the good sense to take it to You so that You might reveal to me what You are doing in my troubles.