Youth - December 2014
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December 2014
by Hector Meza

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” 1 Tim 6:6-8

I remember as a kid that it was really easy for me to complain. “I don’t like what’s for lunch today,” “Why can’t I stay up and watch my show?” “She got more candy than me,” “Are we there yet?” And even though we rarely get our way or get anything, we find it the easier option. Not that there is never room for complaining or speaking out against injustices but a chronic complaining spirit can severely cripple our faith. It can also seriously affect those around us especially in our church family.

Denis Prager once quipped, “Complaining not only ruins everybody else's day, it ruins the complainer's day, too. The more we complain, the more unhappy we get.” When I think of our propensity to complain, I am reminded of how the Israelites complained to the Lord in the wilderness. They did it at so many times in their lives and in their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. It became a huge stumbling block to them and it kept them from being able to appreciate all that God was doing in their midst. The fact that a complaining spirit can lead us to unhappier lives is no surprise. Whenever we relinquish a thankful heart we are blinded to the wonderful things God is constantly doing in our lives.

As we enter into a season where we are encouraged to remember and celebrate the things we are thankful for, we should practice the difficult discipline of laying down our complaints. Seriously. Challenge yourself to go through the next twenty four hours without complaining. You can be sure it will be extremely difficult but ultimately freeing. You’ll find strength and faith you never knew you had. And perhaps in the midst of it you will also see what God is doing more clearly. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-12

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