1. Become blameless and pure
Hmm. I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon, but by-golly-gee, I sure am tryin’. How does one go about becoming “blameless and pure” anyway? Well, I am definitely NOT the expert on that, but I do have a pipeline to the man upstairs that enables me to have some insight on the matter. (Said pipeline is a two-way street: Prayer goin’ up and The Word comin’ down. I suggest you invest in both.)
I was sitting in church last Sunday, just minding my own business, listening to the preacher man like a good Christian girl when he mentioned something I happen to be very good at — complaining. A little backstory: I have the unique ability to zero in on one little bitty thing in a sermon (usually mentioned off-hand and very rarely the actual point of the sermon) and be moved by it. Case in point, the complaining. Preacher Man’s sermon was not about complaining, but he did mention it at the end and that’s where my brain went. I like to think that God knows I have attention issues and so he hits me with these momentary zingers to get me back on track. Okay, God…back to the complaining.
Preacher Man mentioned how we should praise God for our blessings and not curse him for the hard times. He explained as good Christians we would never intentionally curse God ::gasp::, but sometimes we do when we murmur complaints. There, he said it. “Murmur complaints.” If I were to list my five greatest talents, Murmuring Complaints would definitely be up there. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it. I’m trying to be funny or I’m trying to be empathetic toward someone.
Sally: My kids are driving me crazy!
Me: I know! I can’t put Squirmy down for a second without him screaming again.
How easy is it to complain? So easy! In our society, it’s practically expected. If something bad happens and we don’t complain, we become that “weirdly happy girl who’s always positive.” (You know who I’m talking about…) But what if we did become that weirdly happy girl who’s always positive. Would that be so bad? Is it really that hard to find the positives in our daily situations? Paul says in Philippians, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation…” (Philippians 2:14-15). So that’s how you become “blameless and pure” — you stop complaining and arguing. I can do this. I can stop complaining and find the positive side. Okay, so maybe I’m overestimating myself. After all, I’m still working on trying to curb my sarcasm and sharp tongue and that post was weeks ago. Luckily, as I mentioned earlier, I have a direct pipeline to the man upstairs. I say I’m going to quit complaining. I pray for the strength and guidance to quit complaining. I actively work on quitting complaining. Together, we make it happen.
Fortunately for us, complaining is not a new issue. People have been complaining as far back as Eve. In his sermon “Learning to Stop Complaining”, Reverend Bruce Goettsche outlines some tips on how to stop the complaining:
1. Be Realistic.
2. Realize that complaining is against the Lord, not men.
3. Monitor your conversation.
4. Develop a Godly perspective (Bible reading, prayer, worship).
5. Hang around positive people and consciously pay attention.
6. Remind yourself that you will have a greater influence for Christ as a cheerleader than as a complainer.
Adding this new challenge to my “kind tongue” challenge will strengthen my ability to grow in both areas. I’ve just got to keep reminding the man upstairs that I need his help, and he’ll continue to give it.