Photo by xololounge on Morgue File.
We can all find plenty of things to whine about, can’t we?!
My two-year daughter sometimes gets into, what could only be called, a whiny mood. When she enters this dark domain, any and everything becomes a reason to whine. One of her favorite things to whine about are her socks. She does not seem to be very fond of the strip of material stitched across the toes of the socks.
Almost, without fail, after you have the socks on her feet, she will whine and grab at the socks, twisting and turning them, whining that they hurt her toes. Then, once the shoes are on, here comes another round of whining about the socks and how they hurt her feet.
She has been known, on several occasions, to take her shoes off completely! This is always a joy when we are in a hurry!
If, however, it is not her socks, then she complains about the toothbrush she is using. Instead of the one she has in her hand, she wanted another one. (She has about 3-4 toothbrushes . . . why, I am not sure!)
Of course, if it is not the socks or toothbrush it is a dissatisfaction with her hair. Or, she did not want to wear the shirt you picked out for her. Or, she wanted another pair of pants.
Yes, the four-year old can be cantankerous as well! I am not sure where they get such traits!
The point of all this is that it is easy for us to find things to complain about.
It is easy to grumble and whine and complain. Lord knows, I have been there many times.
The children of Israel, while traipsing through the wilderness, found plenty for which to complain. They did not like the manna. They did not like Moses’ leadership style. At one point, they felt so low and miserable that they thought it would have been better to remain slaves in Egypt making bricks then following Moses around in the desert.
Ouch! I am sure that would warm any leader’s heart!
The disciples had a few bouts of grumbling too.
As we look deeper, we find it is a part of human nature.
Things do not go our way. We feel tired. We feel as though no one cares. We feel as though we are the only ones carrying the weight. And, so, we pout . . . we whine, we grumble and complain.
It does not seem to matter sometimes what God has done for us, how he has blessed us, I will find something to whine about!
We are never satisfied. We are never content. We will not allow ourselves to be happy.
It is always something.
Paul addressed two different churches via his letters and admonished them not to grumble (1 Cor.10.10; Phil. 2.14).
Have you ever been around someone who complains, whines and grumbles all the time?
Do you like being around such a person?
I had a relative once that anytime you asked her how she was doing, would give you a long list of ailments and woe is mes. I soon learned to stop asking her!
Yes, there are times when the workload may be unfairly heavy on our shoulders. There may be times when we need to address certain problems. There may be times to file justified complaints.
But, I feel much that we grumble over is more childish and selfish than anything.
It is natural for us to whine. It is natural for us to defend ourselves to any and all costs. It is natural to want what is best for me and mine. The problem with all this is that Christ calls us to that which is un-natural to us. Christ calls us to follow him. He calls us to learn of him and be like him.
All of this is certainly un-natural for us.
Thankfully, my two-year old is not always in a whiny mood! Thankfully there are occasions when the socks fit just right, the shoes are perfect, the toothbrush is just the one she wants and her hair meets her approval. Mind you, while these times exist, they are somewhat rare!
I wonder what our Father would say about us? Would he comment how we so often grumble and whine about this or that? Would it be things, that in the large scheme of things, are incidental?
A good exercise to try is this: whenever you feel the need to complain or whine, forfeit that right and, instead, praise Christ. Substitute your whining for praise and see if it has an effect on your disposition and mood.
It would seem praising, and not whining, is far more in the spirit of Christ.