Posted by Peter
a call for a fast from complaining
by pastor brent knox
This past weekend, I casually referred to a church that made a commitment with one another to refrain from all forms of complaining for thirty days. Evidently, the self-imposed discipline of not allowing negative words seep from mouths changed the atmosphere of family life and church life. Families and church meetings became more attractive places to be.
Paul writes this 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, in which you shine like stars in the universe…” (Philippians 2:14-15 NIV)
Complaining is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Everyone complains, nitpicks, nags, gripes and moans. Why is complaining so popular? Because we don’t like what’s happening to us. And we just want to get it out. It feels better when we talk about. It’s like having a sour stomach, and we feel better when we throw up. So we verbally throw up on the people around us. This fleshly indulgence of complaining makes us feel better.
Complaining is so prevalent and such a deep habit, that most Christians don’t even think of it as sin. The verse is a command—not a nice option. The proper response to complaining is repentance coupled with a serious commitment to “I will not leak out a word of complaint again.” Of course, there is a time and a place to bring church concerns, work concerns, family concerns to the right people. However, there is a big difference between sour-stomach, self-pity complaining and constructive talk leading to positive solutions. Complaining is usually negative talk with the wrong heart aimed at the wrong people to arouse self-centered pity.
According to the verse above, shutting our complaining mouth is one of the easiest ways we can stand out as Christians. Even though everyone else argues and complains, as believers, we are not to do so. And if we can just keep our mouths shut, we will stand out like a star in the black sky.
By the way, this character area is an essential training piece for our children. As parents, we ought to model a thankful spirit and insist that our children do everything without complaining or arguing.
At work, what is your office atmosphere like? At home, what is your dinner time talk like? At church, what is your Growth Group conversation like? Please resist going down complaining paths and bring a thankful spirit to every place you are. How can we complain if God is working everything out for our good?