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Without Complaining

Do everything without complaining and arguing.  Philippians 2:14 (GNB)

The following is an astonishing yet genuine list of complaints made by holidaymakers to their travel agent:

  • “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
  • “The beach was too sandy.”
  • “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”
  • “No-one told us there would be fish in the sea.  The children were startled.”
  • “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”
  • “We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.”
  • “The street signs weren’t in English.  I don’t understand how anyone can get around.”

Do we ridiculously give verbal expression to our daily frustrations and vent our exasperations?  Or perhaps air our grievances on social media?  While complaining seems to be the norm for our society, it should never be part of our lives.  Paul wrote:

In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing so that no one can speak a word of blame against you.  You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn.  Shine out among them like beacon lights, holding out to them the Word of Life.  Philippians 2:14-16 (TLB)

The Greek word for “complaining” is goggusmos which means ‘expressing one’s discontent’.  Spurgeon offers an antidote for a complaining, murmuring spirit, writing:

If we complained less, and praised more, we should be happier, and God would be more glorified.  Let us daily praise God for common mercies – common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless, that when deprived of them we are ready to perish.  Let us bless God for the eyes with which we behold the sun, for the health and strength to walk abroad, for the bread we eat, for the raiment we wear.  Let us praise him that we are not cast out among the hopeless or confined amongst the guilty; let us thank him for liberty, for friends, for family associations and comforts; let us praise him, in fact, for everything which we receive from his bounteous hand, for we deserve little, and yet are most plenteously endowed.

Complaining is draining and never changes our situations.  Stay positive and prioritise praise.