Saturday, January 17, 2009

The End of Complaining

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, 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—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing." Philippians 2:14-16

I'm going to be real brief this morning, as the kids and I are having a nice morning together. But I read this verse, and it just made me smile. Think about when you greet someone. You ask how they're doing, and almost always, if you stand and talk for even a few minutes, some form of complain comes out. People are simply expected to complain. When people ask how I'm doing, I know they're expecting me to complain about Andy not working. Or these days, to complain about the weather or the economy. We've had amazingly cold temperatures the last two days, but I can't even complain for a second about it. We got to spend two extra days with our children at home, and we have a warm home to live in. IN fact, with the cold temperatures, I expected the furnace to be running non-stop, but it didn't. It was so sunny out, that we opened up the windows, and the sun heated the house nicely. We were actually warmer during the coldest days of the year than any other time. We spent our time playing games and trying new foods, and just spending the time inside as a family. What's to complain about?

You know, I've been trying really hard to not complain- it's a mindset that is difficult to change. It's so difficult, actually, that I find that sometimes it's hard to come up with something to talk about when I'm not complaining. You know how that is, you just kind of sit there with someone in companionable silence, because you've just said that life is grand and you have no complaints. And they don't know what to say to that, and then they don't want to feel like they're complaining, so they don't say much either.

Imagine the conversations that would occur if we didn't complain. I like to think that not complaining is contagious, and it has the added benefit that the people you're talking with want to know what you aren't complaining. Over time, when they realize that you're serious, that could open a door or a window into someone developing a relationship with Jesus.

So I think this is a good one to tackle. Be it a New Year's resolution, or just a resolve to complain less, it's a wonderful goal, and completely do-able. As a child of God, how can life not be wonderful? Every second of every day I'm reminded how blessed we are, and as a result, I have nothing to really complain about.

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