Friday, August 10, 2007

A godly way to complain

What should one do when you have seemingly legitimate reasons to complain? Is there a godly way to complain?

I don’t have a complete answer—and I don’t have time to flesh this out fully—but here is a thought that came to me the other day: If I must complain, I should complain to God. Consider these verses from the psalmist, David:

“With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him” (Psalm 142:1-2).

“Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice” (Psalm 55:17).

This, to me, seems the safest way to complain. If my complaint is legitimate, God knows and has the power to do something about my situation. If my complaint is illegitimate, God knows that too, and he will let me know about it. But, perhaps best of all, if “I pour out my complaint before him”, the less likely I will be to pour out something before others that will be inappropriately negative, and the easier it will be to project a positive attitude which will more clearly reflect the Savior.

If something or someone is bothering you to the point that you are tempted to complain, tell God about it—“pour out [your] complaint before him”. David said, “He hears my voice”. We must remember that the heavenly Father hears his children. He’s concerned; he cares. And God doesn’t have office hours; we can come to him at any time: “evening and morning and at noon”. He’s never too busy. His door is always open.

If we will take our complaints directly to God, we will see that our problems aren’t so big after all when seen in the light of his awesome greatness.

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