Thursday, June 16th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 38)
Complaining In Church
The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways,
But a good man will be satisfied from above.
Proverbs 14:14 (NKJV)
Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.
Exodus 16:8 (NKJV)
I'm not sure how many Christians in church would connect complaining with backsliding.* But think of yourself standing on a hill. It's a muddy and unattractive place. You don't appreciate your position, so you complain about the circumstance. Your words are supernaturally strong.
You're blowing out a current of bad air, and it propels you backwards down the hill. But what if that hill is part of God's course? Instead of climbing through His test for you, your negative words change your direction. You're not only moving away from God, but slipping blindly back toward Satan.
Actors, models and talent for Christ, complaint was a bad habit of mine:** thinking someone or something was wrong, thinking I deserved more than this path, not thinking of the path Jesus walked. He, most of all, had grounds to complain:
'He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His Mouth' (Isaiah 53:7). Because God allows our challenges as the means to make us champions.
Recall a hiker behind Jesus. His name was Saul, transformed into Paul, and he traveled a tortuous course: beatings, prisons, stoning and shipwrecks. But he didn't complain about them:
'For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me' (Philippians 4:11-13).
Complaining is understandable when you're in a bad and angry world. But your time here is temporary, and you've been assigned a special role. You are the Rock Star's ambassadors, sent to show others a better way to act in life's tough circumstances.
To Be Continued...
* Previous 16-part AMTC Devotion series on Complaining: http://amtcdevotions.org/complaining-part-1-the-deal-breaker
** I'm using the past tense, complaining 'was' a bad habit, not because I've conquered it, but I'm speaking it (hopefully) into existence.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.