By Andrew Freed
“… for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.” Exodus 16:8
God hates complaining! It displays a lack of appreciation for what you have and reveals what is at the center of your heart, self. Many of us can answer the basic questions of life; What will we eat? Where will we sleep? What will we put on our backs? Yet the urge to complain still persists.
Complaining releases negative energy that attracts the unwanted. Complaining is like fire, the more you do it the more it consumes you thoughts. So the more you complain the more you have to complain about. At the heart of murmurings and complaints there is a much deeper issue, a lack of contentment.
There are a number of causes for discontentment. On a surface level it is usually generated by circumstances. It could be you didn’t get what you paid for, you were deceived, or you are the recipient of broken promises. We live in a vain society. Many people find their value and identity in their possessions and their zip code. Subsequently, when they don’t have certain things they feel bad.
I have found that this surface level of discontentment is birthed by way of comparison. Through media advertisement or personal observation of our neighbors, the enemy sets the stage for you to compare your possessions with the possessions of others. When we don’t measure up, we focus on what we don’t have which lead us to try to keep up with The Jones, or become discontent in our heart.
On a deeper level, discontent comes from a lack of peace within. Inner peace requires no external stimulus for contentment. The Word of God tells us “Let you conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have, For He Himself has said I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) The Greek word for contentment is arkew which is defined as an internal peace that does not demand changes on external circumstances.
The true source of our contentment is found on the inside of you. It is based on our relationship with God. Knowing that God is there and He hears you when you call gives us peace. This makes contentment an inside job and nothing external should be allowed to take that away.
One of the best way to combat feelings of discontentment and the urge to complain is through appreciation. Focus on what God has already done for you. Have an attitude of gratitude. The best way to develop this is to make a gratitude list.
Write down ten things that you have in your life that you may be taking for granted. Ten things that without which, your life would be much more difficult. For example; running hot water, a stove to cook food, family and other loved ones, and don’t forget your relationship with a living and loving God.
The language of appreciation is thanks giving, so read the list out loud and after each item on the list say “Thank You God.” If you reference this list often you will attract to yourself more things to be grateful about. More importantly, you won’t complain.
I am Andrew Freed and you are an Overcomer in Christ