Now, if you grew up like me watching Saturday morning cartoons (which were the best) with a bowl of cereal in hand, you have probably spent your fair share of time being entertained by a certain coyote and road runner who were always trying to outwit one another. One of the humorous things about the show was the fake scientific or Latin names given to these characters that expressed some funny trait about who they are or what they were doing. Thus, in parodic form was the title of this article born of the humorous need to make it sound really scientific.
One day, I was walking with my husband and something was really bothering me I had dealt with during the day and I couldn’t wait for an opportunity to unload what occurred. It was like someone trying to play double-dutch jump rope, looking for the right time when I can jump in and unleash my complaint.
Walking side by side with him to go into our church that evening, while right on the tip of my tongue, ready to come out, my complaint was interrupted. We ran into another church member and what she said to my husband escaped me, but my husband’s response didn’t. He said, “I won’t complain.” And, he wasn’t saying it in a lackadaisical church manner either, for he put emphasis on his point by refusing to acknowledge the reason for complaint. Obviously, I was floored. Here I am holding something that’s just itching to get out and I suffered from a case of “complaintus interruptus.”
And, sometimes, that’s not a bad thing.
Often in life, we do deal with things and we look to unload the weight of it on to others. Sometimes we feel that if we can just talk about it with someone, that act alone can help us to feel better. And, in most cases, that’s true as long as we are seeking to do it in a constructive manner, not just to do it for the sake of wanting to complain.
There is a big difference. Out and out complaining is negative and tells those around us that I am just not happy about a situation and I want to gripe about it. It’s not seeking resolution; it’s just seeking to show discontent, tear down, and spew out unnecessary drama. Whereas, constructively telling someone of your concerns and upsets, not to unleash or accuse, but to seek counsel that will help you deal with the situation, is a positive move in the right direction to wrangle in the feeling of upset and misunderstandings one may be facing.
We find cases of both in the Bible to teach us the do’s and don’t’s of what goes on in these situations. First, we have the gripers, or murmurers, as the Bible calls them. Those, who for the mere sake of wanting to expose their displeasure, pops the cork off their mouth and lets the unhappiness flow. We can find these type of characters throughout the Bible, particularly in those whom God delivered from Egypt, and yet they constantly found something to complain about and were never quite happy with what God was doing (see Exodus 14:11and 16:2-3; Numbers 14:27 for some examples).
For these type of people, God was greatly displeased (Numbers 11:1; 21:5-7). After only three days of their journey (compare Exodus 15:22-23) they expressed to God their discontent about their wandering situation even though it was these same people who cried out to God for deliverance because of their taskmasters. It was hard for these people to overcome testing because their complaining spirit always seemed to win out over their emotions.
Then, we have those like King David who, in psalms prayed, “I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble,” (Psalm 142:1-2). He comes before God humbly, with a prayerful spirit, seeking help and consolation, not to gripe or show his displeasure about his situation. Simply put, he was going through trouble and he took that supplication to the Lord in prayer.
The Bible invites us to give our worries, upsets, and problems to God by saying, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you,” (1 Peter 5:7; see also Psalm 55:22). This is a constructive and positive way of dealing with the hurts and disappointments of life. We take it to the Lord in prayer and we leave it there. We express to Him, reverently, how we feel, how we are hurting and upset, and we let Him take the wheel, and we leave it alone. It is a matter of trusting God with our problems, and not demanding something from Him or murmuring.
God loves those who sincerely seek Him in prayer but He doesn’t like complaining. Sometimes, we need to check ourselves, put a hand up to stop the words flowing before what we think we need to say comes out of our mouths. Perhaps we need a case of complaintus interruptus to corral wayward thoughts and words.
Some Verses to Ponder:
Philippians 2:14 – “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.”
Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Lamentations 3:39 – “Wherefore doth a living man complain . . .”
1 Corinthians 10:10 – “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”
Psalms 39:1 – “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.”
Philippians 4:11 – “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
Hebrews 13:5 – “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
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