As I’m writing this devo, my husband is pacing around the house grunting, wincing, and giving an occasional “whew-eee” as he is trying to pass his kidney stone. If you’ve ever had a kidney stone feel free to give us a shoutout with some advice or words of encouragement, because it’s been a rollercoaster of a time. I’ve had compassion for my husband for every complaint and groan because it looks like he’s going through a male form of childbirth.
Sometimes voicing our discomfort seems to help us get something off our chest. Sometimes complaining seems very valid when we are in tough situations. So when does that turn a point to where it’s crossed the line to too much complaining? Philippians 2:14 says, “Do everything without complaining or grumbling”. EVERYTHING?! When sin entered our world in the Garden of Eden, our world became difficult. Women were cursed with painful childbirth, work became hard work, and sin tainted everyone and everything. Because of the fall, nothing is perfect on this earth outside of God Himself.
When things aren’t right, or aren’t easy, or aren’t what we want, our response is to grumble. Our vision for God’s goodness becomes blurry and all we can see are the things that aren’t so good. There is a lot that is wrong with our fallen world. There is a lot we could grumble about. However, as believers, we know that God is GOOD. And even though this life is hard and gives us many things to grumble about, we also can be a light by providing a new perspective, a heavenly perspective. When we fix our thoughts on things above, adjusting our eyes to the work God is doing, we become grateful. We don’t have to dismiss our troubles and pretend everything is fine. We can tell God that things are difficult, but have faith that He IS working and that He WILL bring something good from the situation. Being grateful isn’t a personality trait, it’s a practice. It takes work and diligence to train yourself to think and act with a grateful heart.
Here’s a challenge: Spend one full day without complaining. When your thoughts turn to wanting to complain, meditate on Philippians 4:8. What can you be grateful for today?