Smoke and Heat

We Are Born Crying, Live Complaining, And Die Too Soon Or Too Late

I told Ed that I was writing a devotion about complaining, and he said that I’m good at it. As if that wasn’t enough, Ed went on to say that I did more than my share of bellyaching when I lived next door to him. I had no excuse if I complained more than my share when I was Ed’s neighbor. I know complaining is a waste of time, but grumbling, finding fault, and protesting can so quickly become a bad habit for any of us. If we see others as complainers, we could be grumblers ourselves if it takes one to know one. It isn’t just the Bible that warns about complaining.

Dale Carnegie advises, “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most do.”

There is another bit of worldly wisdom that cautions, “Stay away from still-people. Still-people are still broke, still complaining, still hating, and still nowhere.”

William A. Ward suggests, “A pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects the wind to change. The realist adjusts the sails.”

Ed, my old neighbor, has always said that it is our nature to complain. His exact words are, “We are born crying, live complaining, and die thinking our death is too soon or not soon enough.”

Jesus did not complain, and in our faith in Jesus, we should develop the same attitude as Him. (Philippians 2:5) As children of God, we are to “Do everything without complaining or arguing. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13,14)

The challenge of having the attitude of Jesus is that He displayed a love beyond our limited way of loving. His love was about humility and sacrificial service for the good of others. If we set our minds on being like-minded with him, “We must seek to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than ourselves. We must not look only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

The Book of Ephesians instructs us to be, “Imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 4:51,52)

The Bible teaches how we walk in love in our lives. Romans Chapter 12 begins by urging us in view of God’s mercy to us in Christ to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, that are holy and pleasing to God, by not conforming to the pattern of this world, but instead by living in the example of Christ. We must renew our minds in what reflects God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.

Our love for God and our neighbor must be sincere. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31,32)

Our walking in love is not about complaining but about being patient and kind. Our love does not boast; it is not proud, rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs, like Jesus’ love.

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