Pastor Bryan Stamper, Ph.D., from St. Pauls Presbyterian Church in Ocoee, FL had a great sermon on “Conquering Complaining!” “If we focus on what is not right, it offends God and enslaves us.”
FOUR TYPES OF COMPLAINERS:
- Whiner: Jesus tells us that we will have troubles: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
- Martyr: This is the person who constantly is saying, “Life is so hard . . . ” They always want to “vent.” This is when we need to learn to lay our problems at Jesus’ feet–and leave them there!
- Cynic: This might be someone we know who says, “Life is a _ _ _ _ _, and then you die.” We see Solomon with this attitude in Ecclesiastes 1:2-4, 9. Of course, do not forget that he had something like 900 wives and concubines . . .
- Perfectionist: Maybe we know someone who is constantly nagging at their spouse, kids, co-workers, etc. “It’s like listening to a dripping faucet.” (B.Stamper, Ph.D.)
Of course, none of us do the above: oops, think again! We are in those categories somewhere because we are human.
SIX WAYS TO CONQUER COMPLAINING:
- Identify the real problem – We think that the problem is out there–with all those other people, but the problem is actually inside us; God wants to transform us in that area of our life. Remember when Jesus told the “religious men” that brought the woman caught in adultery: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
- Have no bitterness in your heart – Do not letter bitterness have any place in our heart. Our tender hearts can be full of hurtfulness from others, but just like the rain makes the grass grow, it also makes those ugly weeds grow. “Let God de-weed our mind and soul.” (Mark Marsden)
- Have an attitude of gratitude – Some women are so good at this; they just ooze thankfulness!!! If we are having a bad-attitude day, look for God’s hand in our circumstance; God does his best work during those times.
- Just don’t do it – When we complain, we are actually challenging God’s wisdom. Don’t let the adversary get between you and God!
- When we doubt God’s care – I get aggravated when people don’t quite understand what I’m trying to say. So now I know that God wants to work on that with me. “It is better to understand than to be understood!” I get it God; You don’t have to hit me over the head with that one!
- Practice “positive talk.” – Compliment, encourage, build-up one another. I love this verse: Philippians 4:6-8. Check it out and look at it often.
Remember, 1.) we are all broken, 2.) God’s purpose is bigger than our problem, 3.) we are to be the aroma of Christ to others, 4.) the world is still a dark and sad place. We GET to be the light, without fault, a living sacrifice–the aroma of Christ. I love that last one; I like my “Oh LoLa,” by Marc Jacobs perfume (it comes in a bottle with a two-color pink flower on the cap) which was a very special gift to me. Sometimes when I’m near my bureau, I just squirt it in the air so I can smell it! So I can see how that is pleasing to God.
Finally, a prayer that we might be women who “shine like the stars in the night sky,” as God “anoints our heads with His oil of joy,” (by me–kind of–I heard it when I was reading Psalm 45:7).