Thursday, November 6, 2014

Complaining to God

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

Complaining seems to be a normal practice for people.  We complain about most everything—school, work, the government, the weather, our kids, other people’s kids, other people.  And to whom do we complain? Likely, to other people.

The Scriptures are very clear as to the Lord’s displeasure with this type of complaining (Numbers 14).  So, naturally, we would tend to conclude it is wrong to complain to God.  Yet, here we have David speaking of complaining to the Lord without any hint of remorse.  Are we to conclude, then, that it’s okay to complain to God, just not to others? I think so.

When we are unhappy with our lives, or some aspect of them, and complain to others, we are dishonoring the Lord who created our lives. Complaints about life are essentially complaints about Him.  So complaining to others about life is like complaining to others about the Lord.  

How do you feel when others complain about you behind your back? Wouldn’t you rather have them come directly to you with their complaints?  Now does it not become much clearer why the Lord is okay with David complaining to Him?

While we may have a hard time dealing with people upset with us, God is big enough to handle our complaints.  He is not going to strike us down because we dare complain.  Rather, He will listen and then gently respond.  

Earlier this week, as I drove around town, I was complaining to God about a situation in my life.  He did not force me off the road into a ditch or strike me blind.  He listened and then gently brought to mind how actually this situation benefits me in terms of eternity.   In other words, He let me vent and then we had a conversation—just like a child and a grown-up.  

Likely, if we practice this approach, we will complain less because we will quickly see how ridiculous it is to complain about a lot of these things.  But when we feel we have a legitimate complaint, we know the Lord is open to hearing it and we can go to Him and vent.

Today, know the Lord is open to hearing what is troubling you.  He would much rather hear you complain to Him than to other people.

© Jim Musser 2014

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