Thursday, June 7Scripture Reading—I Peter 4:7-19
I read recently about a movement called “A Complaint Free World.” http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/
This movement encourages individuals, schools, churches, and other organizations to do away with complaining. Doesn’t that sound like a positive ideal to strive for? It’s easy to complain, whether it’s about the service in a restaurant, the traffic on the way to work, or some imperfection in a member of our family that we’ve tried, but failed, for years to change. There are certainly situations where complaining seems justified—tragedy, injustice, chronic illness, disability. And sometimes our complaints about some negative aspect of our lives do motivate us to action. But at other times complaining just has a negative effect. It tears down other people. It saps energy from an organization as people focus only on their problems and limitations rather than looking for solutions to problems utilizing their possibilities and gifts. As Christians, constant complaining causes us to focus on all the things that are wrong with our lives, or our families, or our church. We never see all that God, or other people for that matter, have done for us. This passage from I Peter was written to Christians in Asia Minor who were trying to withstand criticism and perhaps even persecution for their decision to follow Jesus Christ. They were living in difficult times! Part of the writer’s instruction to them about how to face their difficulties and disappointments is found in verse 9: “Be hospitable to one another, without complaining.” What positive forces would be unleashed in our lives, in our church, in our world, if we treated each other with hospitality, acceptance, and affirmation and just quit complaining?
Thought for the day: By learning to live with gratitude and faith, we find new energy for living and have a positive influence on others at work, in our families, in our church, and in our world.
Prayer: O God, when I am discouraged and see only life’s problems, and when I’m tempted to complain excessively, please help me to be aware of all you have done for me, so that I might be a vessel of life and hope to others. Amen.