From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may…shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:14-15).
The story is told of a monk who joined a monastery and took a vow of silence. Once a year, this monk was allowed to speak two words. After the first 12 months, his superior called him in and asked, “Do you have anything to say?” The monk replied, “Food bad.” After another 12 months the monk again was given an opportunity to voice his thought. He said, “Bed hard.” Another 12 months went by and again he was called in before his superior. When asked if he had anything to say, he responded, “I quit.” His superior said, “It doesn’t surprise me a bit. You’ve done nothing but complain ever since you got here.”
If this was all the complaining people did, then life would be great. But reality is that complaining has become the great American pastime. Today, we live in a complaining society. We complain too much. Too many people have become like the father who took his family to church. As they were driving home from church, he started complaining about everything. He said, “The singing was too loud. The sermon too long and the announcements were unclear. The building was too hot. The people were unfriendly.” He went on and on, complaining about virtually everything. Paul, in the above text, declares this is the opposite of how we should behave. Strive not to be a complainer!
Looking over the life of Jesus, He was put in various difficult, confusing, and challenging situations, but He never complained. Once during his childhood, his parents went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of the Passover, but they forgot Him as they were traveling home. But Jesus didn’t complain. Near the end of His earthly ministry, each one of the disciples abandoned Him. Yet, Jesus never complained. When He was interrogated by the High Priest, and instructed to be beaten, Jesus refrained from complaining.
The challenge for today is let’s not be like the father on his way home from church but let’s strive to be like Christ. Things will happen to us and we will see or hear things that will hurt or disturb us. Lord, help us not to complain!