I have a New Year's Resolution.
It's the kind of resolution that is scary to say aloud because it means people will know about it and (gasp) maybe even hold me accountable to it.
I resolve to stop complaining.
There. I said it.
I have been incredibly convicted of this for quite some time now. I feel that there are certain things that we, as Christians, take very seriously:
Love one another deeply.
Don't use the Lord's name in vain.
Serve those less fortunate than yourself.
The list goes on...
But having a grumbly/whiney attitude is just as wrong as any other sin. God is very clear about complaining. In Philippians 2:14, Paul writes,
"Do everything without grumbling or arguing..." (emphasis mine).
Seriously God? EVERYTHING?
What about when Denver has his fourth enormous dirty diaper of the day? Don't I deserve to whine a little about that?
Or what about the extremely rude woman at the grocery store? Can't I tweet about her?
Or when I'm just having a terrible miserable no good very bad day? Can't I complain about that at happy hour with my girlfriends?
The truth is that God calls us not to grumble for a specific purpose:
"Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Philippians 2:14
People whine. That's our nature. We want everyone else to know what a crummy day we've had. So in choosing not to grumble, we stand out... like a light in a dark place. It is just one more way to share the gospel. One more way to let people know how great Jesus is and how powerful he is. He has the power to change our attitudes.
What I'm not saying is that I'm going to walk around with a fake smile plastered on my face constantly acting like I'm in a happy mood even when I'm not. I think we are supposed to be real with each other. When someone asks me if I'm having a good day, I think it's appropriate to sometimes say, "No, it's been pretty bad," and ask for advice or have a shoulder to cry on. I am talking about the constant complainy/grumbly attitude that I sometimes take about all sorts of things. I'm talking about mindlessly grumbling about little things just for the sake of conversation and self-pity.
The odds are pretty good that you will hear me complain at some point throughout the next year. Mainly because I'm human, and I'm sinful, and this is going to be a major change for me. But i commit to working hard at it every day. And hopefully, with LOTS of help from the Holy Spirit, my attitude and mind-set will eventually change, and it won't be in my nature to complain as often.