Friday, February 13, 2015

A complaining attitude can destroy your relationship with God ...

Out West, a cowboy was driving down a dirt road, his dog riding in the back of the pickup truck, his faithful horse in the trailer behind. Then the cowboy failed to safely negotiate a sharp turn, resulting  in a terrible accident.

Some time later, a Sheriff's deputy discovered the scene. The deputy was an animal lover, and saw the horse first. Assessing the serious nature of its injuries, he drew his service revolver and put the animal out of its misery. He then walked around the accident and found the dog, who was also hurt critically. The deputy couldn't bear to hear the dog whine in pain, so he ended the dog's suffering as well.

Finally he located the cowboy --- who suffered multiple fractures --- off in the weeds.

"Hey, are you okay?" asked the deputy.

The cowboy took one look at the smoking pistol in the deputy's hand and quickly replied, "Never felt better!"

We've all been in situations where we were tempted to complain --- perhaps even had reason to complain --- but it seemed like doing so would cost us more than just being quiet.

And then ...

... then there are those who are habitual complainers. For example, you probably have some Christian Facebook friends like I do who seem to hunt for the most negative posts they can find to share. The posts may be factually correct, but they're always pointing the finger at someone.

Complainers will always find a place to complain, whether it's with a Facebook post, the comments section of a blog, a church business meeting, at the dinner table with family, sitting in traffic, or just people-watching in a coffee shop.

Not only is their complaining like a wet blanket on the perceptions of others around them, and discouraging to many, a habit of complaining can destroy a person's relationship with God by robbing them of their faith, keeping them from a sincere attitude of gratitude, and sets them up for judgment.

Yes, judgment!

"Don't grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look --- the judge is standing at the door!" James 5:9.

Our complaining is usually about people, and when we're just complaining about others, we put ourselves in a position of judgment. If you judge others you will be judged!

When we complain about others, we're speaking judgments about God's creation, each person being precious to Him. It then becomes difficult to separate complaining about others and complaining about God. The more we do the one, the more it includes both. And that can be disastrous! Do you remember how complaining ruined the Israelite's relationship with God as they grumbled their way through the wilderness? That story, according to the Apostle Paul, has significant meaning and application for us ...

"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.

Along with that warning, Paul tells us instead of complaining, what comes out of our mouths should have a positive value to our hearers ...

"Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them," Ephesians 4:29.

Being a person who habitually complains isn't a joke. It's actually a serious problem for the person because it's often a sin. If you're a complainer, you need to confess that and repent of it. God wants to change your thinking, and He will enable and empower you to be free from a critical attitude. To help you further, read my blog post from yesterday http://go.shr.lc/1MgZVzZ to learn how simple metacognitive awareness training using a cheap purple bracelet can help you transform your complaining habits.

It is impossible to live each day with a sincere attitude of gratitude and be a habitual complainer. It's time to choose which one you'll be.

Scotty

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