Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.
Although I'm almost 60, I remember my last spanking. Or at least its attempt. I think I was seven or eight. I have no idea what I did wrong, but surely something. Because my dad was dragging me to a spanking. Yes, dragging. In a rebellious fit, I refused to walk.
Deliberately, I swung my leg into a chair and cried out to my mother, 'He's hurting me.' She bit the bait and said, 'Jack, you're hurting her.' Like Adam to Eve, he yielded to a bad call. My deceit marked the end of my discipline.
Therein, a way of life was established. A spoiled and cranky kid became a sharp and bossy woman. I had some virtues, but a spirit of complaint tarnished them. Even in my B.C. years, I valued integrity. I wanted to act with honor, but then I would criticize.
Consider a fault-finding fact: 99% nice can be tainted by 1% nasty. It's the principle of destructive friends, blinding beams or bitter yeast: bad company corrupts, clear vision gets cloudy and poisonous growth spreads.* Old Carey carried complaint.
But when new Carey was born, I carried the surefire Cure. Here's what surprised me the most: I could still act like a pill. Old Carey's tough to bury. Like a cheap horror movie, my corpse rose out of the grave: finger-pointing still intact.
Judging from the early disciples, personal transformation takes time. Paul reminded us: 'I die daily' (1 Corinthians 15:31).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Perhaps complaint is not your issue. But I bet you've suffered from its claw. If you know a chronic complainer, God's Spirit will lead you from its snare. Because this trap can cause you to fall.
To Be Continued...
* 'Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character' ' (1 Corinthians 15:33).
* 'You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye' (Luke 6:42).
* 'Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?' (1 Corinthians 5:6).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Complaining series.