Living in a World of Complainers
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
-Colossians 3:15-17 (NIV)
If you listen to people, being thankful is not a very common attitude. They complain about their classes, their jobs, their practice schedules, their parents (or kids), their friends, the weather, their teammates, and on and on it goes. In the world, it is easy to complain because everybody does it. Yet, as followers of Jesus, we are called to be thankful. That is no easy task when everyone around us is doing the opposite. It is just easier to fall in with them and do the same thing.
So how do we change? How do we stand apart from the crowd? The answer I think is found in Paul’s command: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” As we get to know Jesus better, as we meditate on His Word, He begins to change us from the inside out. It will likely begin with an uneasiness when you complain. What used to be so natural begins to feel inappropriate. Complaints that once flowed so easily off your tongue become more uncomfortable to share. And at the same time, expressions of thankfulness begin to increase.
As we continue to grow closer to Jesus, the more thankful we will become. As we grow in our relationship with Him, the more His love and great sacrifice will dominate our thinking. And our attitudes will change. Even when we are frustrated with our teammates, our jobs, or whatever, every frustration pales in comparison to the great love of Jesus. We can put life into perspective. And when we can do that, then, no matter how frustrated we get, we can still find reason to be thankful.
Today, you are entering a world of complainers. It is your opportunity to stand out, to be different. The Lord wants you to have an attitude of thankfulness. But the only way you can do that is to get into His Word and allow it to get into to you.
1. How much time do you spend complaining?
2. By comparison, how much time do you spend praising and thanking God?
3. How do you react to the complainers in your life? Are you one of them?
4. How can you demonstrate Christ through a thankful attitude?