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Is Complaining a Spiritual Gift?

photo credit: cheerfulmonk via photopin cc
The other day I teasingly called my Pastor a slacker. It's not true.  He's one of the hardest working men I know,  His response? "It's what I do best," which set me off.

Me: "I know just what you mean, Pastor. I am totally gifted at complaining. It's what I do best and I don't understand why I shouldn't be allowed to use this gift on a regular basis!" It was all in jest, but the thread of truth is that, by nature, I am a complainer. I've gotten so good at it that I often don't realize I'm doing it.

Yesterday my husband and I went to a huge antique store to browse. During the hour or so that we wandered through the booths I heard myself saying, "I'm a little dizzy. My stomach is a bit queasy. These prices are too high. Too bad we don't have enough money to stop and eat after we get out of here. I'm hungry. These stairs hurt my knees."

Now, all these things were true to a minor extent, but none of them were really stressing me. I wasn't really sick enough, sore enough or poor enough to complain. It just came out without effort or thought on my part. It's a habit. A bad habit. I know this and I need to change my thought processes and my words.

God must think so, too, because in reading my morning devotions from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, this is what it said...
You have been on a long, uphill journey, and your energy is almost spent. Though you have faltered at times, you have not let go of My hand. I am pleased with your desire to stay close to Me. There is one thing, howeveer, that displeases Me: your tendency to complain. (ouch) You may talk to Me as much as you like about the difficulty of the path we are following. I understand better than anyone else the stresses and the strains that have afflicted you. You can ventilate safely with Me, because talking with Me tempers your thoughts and helps you see things from My perspective.
 
Complaining to others is another matter altogether. It opens the door to deadly sins such as self-pity and rage. Whenever you are tempted to grumble, come to Me and talk it out. As you open up to Me, I will put My thoughts into your mind and My song in your heart.
(Jeremiah 31:25; Philippians 2:14-15)
 
Ahem...uh, yeah, that hit me right between the eyes.
 
How about you?
Are you a complainer?
Why do you think we complain?
What do we get out of it?
Are you going to make any changes after reading this?
 
Would love to hear your thoughts on this.
 
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(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)


4 comments:

Joy said...

Way to go, Jan! You did it again. You managed to hit a spiritual "sore spot" to jolt us back to reality again.
God is good!!! He is always good! He provides us with everything we need for life and for godliness too. He is patient, kind, faithful, loving (no matter what) and the list goes on. Really, what do we have to complain about anyway? Well, that's one pile we can dump out in the garbage --- our stack of complaints!

Jan Christiansen said...

That's right, Joy, and I expect you to call me on it if you hear me go on a complaining rant! That's what good friends are for.

Tresa Walker said...

Ouch! I think I have probably done more than my fair share of complaining lately. Just last night I was thinking its time to turn my focus to the blessings of each day and stop wallowing in the stress in my life. Thanks for the reminder, Jan!

Jan Christiansen said...

I know, Tresa - I stepped on my own toes with this one. The good news is that as we surrender to God, He changes us and in the meantime, He loves us anyway.
Thanks for dropping by.