Friday, November 6, 2009

Conquering Complaining

I am not naturally thankful. In fact, I think that we are naturally complainers, and we don't even need training to reach our potential in this area. It's a gift! :( No, it's a curse. I am so thankful for God's Word that helps me to know, with all certainty, where every good and perfect gift comes from.

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

But it's so human to be discontent, and that leads to complaining. For the 4 Fridays in November, I want to reflect on Conquering Complaining, as we prepare our hearts and minds for Thanks Giving.

When Satan first trampled on the peace in the Garden (remember, he probably had feet "pre-slithering") he appealed to Eve. He enticed her by stroking her pride, suggesting she was entitled to more than she had. Come on, Eve, you're living in the Garden of Eden walking with God and living with your perfectly untainted hunk of a man Adam! :)

Well, Satan didn't have to try very hard even then. He told Eve there was something "more," and he dangled promises of it in front of her. As you know, she bit ... literally. She gave in to the lie that what she had wasn't good enough for her, and she believed she could be and could have MORE. Before she ever bit, her heart was prideful and discontent and she was filled with a spirit of complaining that led her to try to manipulate God's good and perfect gifts.

Her choice bought her disappointment and death. It had been a lie.

Maybe you think I'm trying to read Eve's mind ... I'm not. I'm reading my own mind, and I know that I'm just as tempted to be filled with the spirit of dissatisfaction leading to complaining as Eve was. Have you seen that beautiful baby face who spits out their food in distaste, pointing to something luscious and perfect (like Cheerios?)? It grows into a woman who looks at her own shape or her own husband or her own house or her own job or her own _________________ (You fill in the blank) and points to something she believes must be better. When she bites, she buys disappointment as she embraces the lie.

Before I am prepared for a day of Thanks Giving, I'm going to ask God to show me areas where I may be discontent, where I may have a complaining spirit. I'm going to ask Him to fill me with a new quality of gratitude and help me "see" the pieces of my life, my "garden", with His eyes.

Do you find yourself complaining? I wonder where most of us find that we are vulnerable ... Physical contentment? Relationships? Possessions? Circumstances? Our marriages? The Body of Christ? Our children? Accomplishments? What's your "tree in the Garden"?

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