Am I Complaining?
‘Time in the Word’ By Clayton Adams
Complainers have always been with us and it started with Adam and Eve eating from the forbidden tree.
Said Adam responding to a question from God, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree and I ate” (Genesis 3:12). Adam blames Eve and complained that it was God’s fault.
Occasionally I find myself complaining about different things or people. I don’t want to be a complainer but sometimes frustrations get the best of me and I succumb to the human drama and useless endeavor of complaining. Do you?
Lately, I have been hearing an increased amount of complaining or maybe it is that I have become more sensitive to those who complain.
I worked in the emergency department at the old Crittenden Regional Hospital and was on duty the morning the ER closed.
I heard people complain about the hospital being old and outdated. The wait time was too long, people complained they were not treated fairly or didn’t get the medicine or drug(s) they wanted. When the hospital closed, people turned their complaints to the hospital management, county and city leadership. People complained about the taxes and having to vote twice to attract a new hospital… complain, complain, complain – am I complaining?
Complainers do what complainers do, they blame everyone or everything for their circumstances. Usually, complainers do not change anything, and rarely does a complainer rise above the circumstances to change anything. Occasionally, their complaints, when registered with the right person can serve as the catalyst for change.
Moses, when leading his people out of slavery from Egypt into freedom in their God-given Promised Land had to deal with his complainers and critics. God has His way of dealing with complainers. There are many examples of people complaining found in the Bible and one is in the book of Numbers chapter eleven.
People complained about not having meat to eat, perhaps a legitimate issue but it was how they complained that brought a life lesson to them. They complained, and Moses turned to God and complained too (Numbers 11:10-15).
So, God replied by giving them meat every day. Day after day the people were supplied with food to eat, water to drink and in fact, their clothes or shoes never wore out (Deuteronomy 29:5), but the people still complained.
God instructed the people to gather only enough meat to eat for the day but, people being people, they hoarded the meat. God was so angered at the peoples’ lack of trusting Him that while the people were eating the meat God sent a plague upon them.
Numbers chapter twelve records an example of Moses’ brother and sister complaining and being critical of Moses. God had His way of dealing with these two leaders too.
Presently, in our country, people receive all types of benefits, subsidies and handouts from the government (the human god) and do nothing but complain.
Free medical care and people complain about the wait time at a clinic or doctors office. Free phone but complain about limited services. Free or reduced housing, but they complain?
More locally, a useless complaint is about a newspaper not being rolled a certain way. A newspaper not being delivered occasionally, and people complain? In a few years there will be no newspapers, what will the complainers complain about then – no newspapers? Please stop the complaining about trivial matters! Am I complaining?
Recently, I had a man complain about his wait time and I listened to him.
My response was simple. I have visited eleven countries and in most of these countries, one had to pay first for the services needed. I suggested he be grateful for living in a country with the ability to get medical care when he wanted and didn’t have to pay for it. I think my observation fell on deaf ears.
The only thing that makes listening to complaints tolerable is listening to someone who offers a solution or improvement to the complaint. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that complainers do not want to “fix” or improve things they just like complaining. Am I complaining again?
To keep from complaining I suggest memorizing Ephesians 4:29 “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but that which is good to the use of building up, that it may minister grace to the hearers.”
I want to encourage people and minister grace and one way to accomplish this is to not complain. If you catch me complaining, gently remind me of Ephesians 4:29.
Clayton Adams has a message of faith he would like to share with the community. He would also like to hear from you. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.