Monday, March 03, 2008

The Cost of Complaining

“And the people spoke against God and against Moses, Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water, and we loathe this light (contemptible, unsubstantial) manna.”

~ Numbers 21:5 (AMP)

Since I’ve been trying to keep my columns shorter, I didn’t have room to run all the quotes, verses, poems, and stories that I had saved on the topic of complaining. So I’ve decided to continue with that same theme this week.

"The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly. What can be more base and unworthy than the pining, pulling, mumping mood, no matter by what outward ills it may have been engendered? What is more injurious to others? What less helpful as a way out of difficulty? It but fastens and perpetuates the trouble which occasioned it, and increases the total evil of the situation. At all costs, then, we ought to reduce the sway of that mood, we ought to scout it in ourselves and others, and never show it tolerance.”

~ William James, 19th century American psychiatrist and philosopher

“God is too good to me for me to ever utter a word of complaint to Him about anything.” ~Joyce Meyer

Choose Your Ruts
(sent to me via email)

A century ago, as the numerous wagon trains left Saint Joseph, Missouri, for the trek across the plains already rutted by the tracks of earlier wagons, the eager pioneers read this sobering message on a banner across the western end of the main street: "Choose your rut carefully. You may be in it all the way to California!"

“The Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to Me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward!”

~ Exodus 14:15 (AMP)

Recently, my friend and fellow poet, Pat Barrett, sent me a copy of her latest poem, titled “Complain or Shine.” With Pat’s permission I would like to share it with you, along with a picture of Pat holding her new little great-grandson, Ian.

Complain or Shine?

By Patricia Kohls Barrett, 2/15/08

Do “everything without complaining”?
My flesh doesn’t like this command
What a challenge this is from my Lord
But what blessings when I obey this demand!

Don’t complain when the weather is nasty?
When someone is thoughtless and rude?
When the driver ahead acts brainless?
When I have to pay a “high” price for food?

My God asks me to be grateful and thankful
For the many blessings He provides
To look for the good instead of grumble
To praise Him as my life He guides

It is hard to complain while praising
They are opposites that conflict
Praise brings happiness and service
Complaints worry, distress, and afflict

The Spirit gives power to be positive
He reminds of grace and love undeserved
Gives insight and awareness of benefits
Reminds of a mansion for me that’s reserved

With focus on mercy without merit
On how Christ makes me blameless and pure
I can “shine like stars in the universe”
In a world that is dark and unsure

“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