It should be criminal for Christians to complain.
Okay, maybe not criminal. Let’s say “greatly frowned upon.”
Listen, I know that Christians are just as human as the next person. I understand that believers in Jesus Christ and His cross are coded with the same emotional and mental DNA as anyone else.
And yes, a Christian is allowed to have a bad day or three. No, Christian, you are not required to channel your inner Ned Flanders and annoy people by speaking King James dialect in every day conversation.
But, I say to you, Christian, by the power of God vested in me — which is also the same power that is in you as well — please put an end to chronic complaining.
Note the key word, chronic.
A little bellyache here and there is normal. The occassional gripe or honest observation about a negative aspect of life is understandable. After all, there is such a thing as righteous indignation.
Jesus Himself complained about the thieves who were making a monetary mockery out of the temple. But He complained right before He braided up a whip, flipped over the money tables and chased all the crooks away.
That’s the point. He actually did something. His complaint was accompanied by an eviction notice.
Later on in His earthly life, Jesus had a problem with sin. You know what He did? He allowed Himself to be suspended on a couple of pieces of wood, hanging only by the cartilage in his wrists and feet that wrapped around the spikes that were driven through them.
He died. Then He got up and proclaimed that this act empowered Him to empower us to do something about the problems we complain about every day.
Make disciples, not of us, but of Jesus. Empower people to live above the things that are often the source of our complaints.
Yes, that’s right. I’m positive that most, if not all, of the situations in life that draw our complaining ire are the results of a sin problem somewhere at the core.
And if sin were an unsolvable problem, one that could only be talked about, I’d be the first one to tell you to do nothing else but complain away.
But that’s the thing. Sin is not an unsolvable problem. It has a solution found in the one we call, “Savior.”
And oh, do we call Him. Every Sunday in church we sing about His wonder, pray for His provision and preach about His power. Throughout the week whether your church gathers in the coffee house, your own house or the church’s fellowship hall for Bible Study, we are teaching people — giving them information about this Jesus who can, as my father is fond of saying, do all things but fail.
But from my experiences, it seems that something happens to those claims when our rival political candidate or party gets elected into office.
Something happens to those claims when we turn on the news and see crime running rampid in the streets of that part of town that we try to avoid at all costs, day or night.
Sometimes these claims even disappear when tragedy or turmoil hit close to home.
What happens to the claims of Christ’s power that supposedly lives in us when we’re asked to leave the comfort of our padded pews and air conditioned buildings and venture into areas that don’t look like Mayberry or talk to people that don’t sound like Aunt Bee?
I’m just as guilty as anyone.
All of a sudden that dynamic power of Jesus seems to lose its luster, and we retreat back to a place that is always welcoming of our complaints.
The comfort zone.
Let me caution you as I remind myself, not to be so quick to give up on that person, place or thing that seems so far from God’s reach that you deem them or it worthy only of your complaints.
Jesus Himself came from a place called Nazareth where folks complained that no good ever came from there.
Boy, were they wrong.
Next time you’re tempted to complain, remember the power that is in you as a Christian. Remember that power comes from the same Jesus whom we rightly praise as One who can do all things but fail.
Remember He has interests to help us do something with that righteous indignation we have, other than complain.
Gabriel Stovall covers sports and religion for the Clayton News Daily and Henry Daily Herald Newspaper. He is also a church planter and pastor at NewLife Church which currently meets in Forest Park. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @GabrielCStovall on Twitter.