“Do all things without complaining.” Philippians 2:14 NKJV
A lady who worked at the post office was approached by a customer who said, “I can’t write. Would you mind addressing this postcard for me?” After addressing it for him and writing a short message, the postal clerk asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you, sir?” The man thought for a moment and said, “Yes. Could you add a P.S. at the end saying, ‘Please excuse the sloppy handwriting?’”
I hope this story gave you a chuckle. But with all seriousness, where’s the thank you? It is so easy to get caught up in a negative parade where you and everyone around you looks for the worst in every situation.
The Bible says, “Do all things without complaining,” because when we don’t, we end up hurting these three things:
Complaining leads to anger and depression. God loves us, and He doesn’t want us hurting ourselves. We can very easily find ourselves in a snowball of negativity. I have found it is much easier to be negative than positive. I have had to work at staying positive in every situation; believing that God is going to work everything to His good and that there is a purpose for every situation that I am going through. I have a choice to complain or restrain.
Complaining calls into question God’s care, His character, and His competence. In reality, what we are saying is, “Lord, You blew it! You had a chance to fulfill my demands, and You chose not to.” This type of mindset is dangerous. It’s how the Israelites ended up being stranded in the desert for 40 years. In their complaining, they were telling God that He didn’t care or have their best interest in mind. Complaining opens the door for us to doubt the promises of God and can delay the blessings He has in store for us.
Our words affect the people around us, and nobody enjoys spending time with a member of,“the Debbie downer club.” Complaining temporarily satisfies our selfish nature, but it changes nothing. It usually makes things worse.
God’s good news: The Bible says, “The people became like those who complain of adversity” (Numbers 11:1 NAS). We didn’t start out as complainers; we “became” that way, and by God’s grace we can become a restrainer! Once we acknowledge our habit of moaning and fault-finding, it becomes possible to choose a better one. Restrain, don’t complain.
Ephesians 4:29 ESV
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Jesus, help me to restrain instead of complain. Lord, help me to choose grace for myself and others. Help me, God, to trust that your plans are better than mine. Let my words be used today to build myself and others up for the glory of God. Amen.