God's word in today's world

Complain endlessly

Philippians 2:12-17

14Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed!

Wow, this is a bit strong on an empty stomach. But isn’t this what we all do? As soon as something less nice happens or we face some challenge that takes a bit too much energy, we’re quick to complain. As soon as I start struggling I’m on my prayer telephone moaning to God. Why is this happening to me? Why do I have to struggle so much? Look at the other people around me. They get all the good times. And so we keep on complaining.

I think we complain so easily because we don’t really know what it’s all about. We complain from a lack of wisdom and all we see is the problem. We don’t see the bigger picture and the easiest response is to complain.

A friend invited me to attend the Global Leadership Summit. One of the topics under discussion was feedback. What do we do with feedback? When we receive feedback from someone else, we quickly take offence if it’s not what we want to hear. Sometimes we go to another person looking for the opposite kind of feedback. And what does my friend to whom I complain say? “No, it’s really bad of person A to say that about you.”

But maybe your fiend doesn’t mean it. Your friend might agree with person A, he knows what she said is the truth, but because you’re complaining and not taking the feedback wisely, your friend takes the easiest way out and supports your rebelliousness. Another opportunity to grow is lost because you complain instead of acting in a mature way and using other people’s feedback for your own good.

We must remember that we don’t get the inside track. Believing in God doesn’t make circumstances easier. On the contrary! Many people’s lives become more difficult because they stand up for their faith. We must remember that others watch us. We must show them our wisdom, that we won’t fold under pressure, and that we will bear our struggles like children of God.

No, it’s not easy and sometimes it feels as if I’m biting my tongue in half, trying not to speak my mind. But then I hold back hard, because I know the words that are trying to come out will not promote the Kingdom of God. But this has tripped me up many, many times. My blood boils too quickly and before I know it, I’m complaining endlessly.

All of us have stumbled at this obstacle. But we have to get back up, dust ourselves off and try again. The trying again and again makes us stronger and the more experienced we get, the less we complain and argue.

I’ve learnt a lot from Christa:

Looking back on my life, God has been wonderful.  At 27, with three small children, I had a hysterectomy and mastectomy. But all the time my wonderful husband supported me. 

In 2009, eight of us were coming back from training in a kombi. A big truck with a trailer made a U-turn in from of us and the kombi crashed into the truck. One woman lost her life. Another suffered serious injuries, which were followed by multiple operations. I had to undergo eight back operations, but nothing is too much for God. 

I fell ill, suffering from serious Osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s epilepsy and hardening of the arteries in my head. But God helped.

I was attacked on my farm, my own firearm was held against my head, but God spared me.

In February, a friend and I drove through Magoebaskloof. Our car slid and rolled down the mountain. My friend crawled back up to the road on all fours. God sent someone to help us.

God helps people who believe. That ship will come and I will be able to afford the right medical treatment again. The answer simply is to believe.

Christa’s story leaves me speechless. One setback after the other, but no complaints – only glory to the helping God.

One day when I’m grown up, I want to be able to deal with life’s setbacks without fighting and arguing.


How do you deal with hardship in your life?

Do you argue sometimes?

Do you complains sometimes?


Our Father who is in heaven, I struggle with this one, because as soon as things do not go the way I like them to, I struggle. Then I complain a lot. Sorry about that. Please help me to see the bigger picture. Please give me the wisdom so that I don’t complain so endlessly. Amen

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