- June 06, 2017
- Houston Clark
I have always wondered why complaining is not taken as seriously as say, pride, or lust. Why is complaining not being confessed alongside drunkenness and sexual sin? Complaining should be taken more seriously and here’s why:
Perhaps you think because you cannot exactly tangibly taste the consequences of complaining then it is not as bad as other more “external” sins such as just flat being a jerk to your parents for checking up on you more than you would like. As Jamie Smith’s book You Are What You Love argues, you are what you love. Your loves (loves as low as your love of stuffed crust pizza over thin crust to as high as your love of family over love of country) form you. David Brooks’ The Social Animal makes the case for the subconscious’ role in shaping who we are; what we like and dislike, what we believe, what we do, etc. The point being: you are who you are not just because of conscious decisions you have made. All of those violent movies you watched, those beautifully idyllic bedtime stories you fell asleep to, and even your most recent stroll through the mall, impact you more than you probably know. Thus, do not discount the effect(s) complaining has on you, whom was bought at a price.
Speaking of not being your own; you are not your own. Let that sink in for a second. You do not own yourself. Although we make decisions for us everyday, you are a child of the living Lord. I need to be reminded of this daily. I write what follows at the risk of complaining: we live in an age where your “brand” is your social currency. Think LinkedIn, Facebook, resumes, etc. These extend our supposed jurisdiction of us further and further. I often wonder what peoples past believed to be “theirs.” For example, I expect to not just have a car, but also be able to do whatever I want after I get off work at 5pm. Did 24 year-olds 50 years ago think the same thing? Or, because the average age at which Americans got married was lower back then, did 24 year-olds realize their time was not completely their own after 5pm? It was their spouses, children, or employers. I don’t know. I have a hunch; however, because we, you, are a son or daughter of God through Jesus, then we should listen to him. We should give him the respect He is due. Paul says in Phillipians 2:14, “Do everything without grumbling or complaining.” That should be enough for us to do just that; however, we are just not there yet. We are sinners and to think otherwise is lying (1 John 1:8). Thus, let us get serious about not complaining.
What if we began to pray both more and also more earnestly that God would transform our hearts from ones of complaining-prone to one that do not do so? Think about that for a second. I challenge you to not complain once today. I challenge you to ask 1 person today to take you before the throne of God above to ask Him that would stop complaining. At the very least I plan to ask that my brothers would pray for my heart that oft complains at the same time that I ask them to train my eyes to not lust. I encourage you to do the same.