Revive Me, Week 7– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord
“Stop”- to not do something that you have been doing before; to not continue doing something
That little reminder of the definition of “stop” is for myself. I admit this challenge will be tough for me. I don’t like to think of myself as a whiner or negative person and yet I realize that I have found ways to complain anyway. I certainly have tried to justify it.
If I only complain to my husband, it doesn’t really count.
If I have a legitimate cause for complaint, surely it’s understandable.
I think I’ve even figured out how to disguise complaints. I can word them in such a way that makes it sound like I’m only asking a question. But complaining is complaining. What’s the big deal? Well, when I take the time to focus on Scriptures about complaining, I see that God thinks it’s a big deal.
“Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord, and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled…” (Num. 11:1).
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing” (Phil. 2:14).
“Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged” (James 5:9).
“Be hospitable to one another without complaint” (1 Pet. 4:9).
In 1 Cor. 10, we read that God was not “well-pleased” with the Israelites. “Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved” (v. 6). What “evil things” did they crave? While they were in the wilderness, they were guilty of idolatry, immorality, and complaining. “Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction…” (v. 10,11). Twice in the text Paul writes that the behavior of the Israelites and their consequences are an example for us. Is complaining really as bad as idolatry and immorality? Yikes.
I’m ready to remove complaining from my speech and my mind. I’m ready to nip it in the bud. I
want need to set a better example for my husband, my sons, and anyone else who is around when I open my mouth. I don’t want to sound like the world. Even more than that, I realize that complaining comes from discontentment and ingratitude. God’s children are the most blessed in this life and have still more to come in the next. How can I waste my breath grumbling when there’s so much for which to rejoice?
Challenges for the week:
- “Go 24 hours without complaining (not even once). Then watch how your life starts changing” (Katrina Mayer). Complaining is a habit. Take the challenge, one day at a time!
- Tell someone that you’re trying to kick the complaining habit. Ask them to help catch you when you gripe.
- Keep an index card in your pocket. Every time you complain, make a tally mark. See how you do at the end of each day. Hopefully your marks will get fewer and fewer as you learn to catch yourself.
- Replace complaining with blessing counting. When you think a complaint, voice a blessing instead.
- Read this excellent and convicting article by Erynn Sprouse.