A friend sent an email forward that started off with part of 1 John 4:16: “…God is love…” and included excerpts from a 19th Century sermon with this assertion: everything God does for His own, withholds from His own, or requires of His own, is out of love for His own.
It makes perfect sense. I don’t question the motives of certain people; dare I question the intentions of the Most High, who is LOVE ITSELF? But if I gripe and grumble, that’s exactly what I’m doing. (For the record, my friend forwarded that email to multiple recipients. …That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it, Haha.)
But upon reflection, there are lessons here.
If a Christian Complains, it’s Complicated:
First off, Complaining Exhibits Unbelief in the Supreme, Superior Sovereign of Souls. Or worse: muddying the waters of that God-given faith with the audacity to bark? Ooh, scary!
Also, I’m Observed by Outsiders: Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world… Php 2:14-15 It’s a rotten shame when we trudge along, blind to the collateral damage; we should know better.
Thirdly, It Swells our Self-Centeredness and Sadness. Yes, even if nobody’s listening—complaining is a terrible waste of time and energy. This spiritual baggage far outweighs any miniscule result that complaining will bring (which is usually just a split second of satisfaction).
Last (but not least), Griping, Groaning, Growling, and Grumbling Greatly Grieve God. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God… Eph. 4:30a
This lesson is tough: I’m Baffled, Baby: ‘Better Bail on this Bodacious Blog! …Ah, well… I guess I can keep writing; I’ll just try harder to remember, from the story Bambi, the Thumperian Principle: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”