Thursday, October 19, 2006


"Do all things without grumbling or complaining."
Was this written by the Apostle because he didn't think there was any brokenness in the creation, any cause for complaint? Perhaps he thought we should recognize the fallenness and just internalize, husband the ulcer we have worked on since high school. Perhaps you don't understand the world in which you live.
Broken and full of fools? Yep, you betcha. To move from there to an internal or external complaint, another belief has to be clarified. Who is in charge here? Who has responsibility for governing the broken system and the annoying company of dunderheads? That is what a complaint or grumble is actually about. It is not about the flaw in the matrix. It is about the flaw in the governance. It is an emotional usurpation. It is the beginning of the seizure of power, of rebellion against those who rule, in your opinion, so poorly. The heart demands better than this. The lips cry out what is the abundance of such a heart. And finally some action, stress cadet sacrificial work loads demanded of self and others to fix what the fools wouldn't, until, with old age, bitterness and frustration hammers the mind into little miserable pieces, crumbling under the onslaught of the inevitable winner, Futility.
This is rebellion, not just against reality or the verse above. This is rebellion against God. Why did He subject the world to decay and futility(see Romans 8)? He subjected it in hope. And you thought that complaining was the the very voice of hope? If you complain, you complain like the Israelites in the wilderness. You have said that you don't trust Him to govern His world, certainly not as well as you would if you had all power. The decisions in the government of this world are different and more demanding than you think. This can be confessed. This can be changed.
I Corinthians 10:9-13 We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents; nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

We can be better than this. We can honor the governments God has granted this world. There is a way of escape. The Bible says not to rail against, not to grumble about, nor complain to, but it does have a speech proper to the failings of the world. Have the governments allowed calamity to get through? Are you anxious? Request, plead, and thank.

Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

If you are a complaining person, let it be known to you this day, that you don't sound any more like a Christian than someone who dropped the F bomb. Next time you are rendering your judgments, insert the F word before it. You know, "F-ing traffic!" or "F-ing friends who didn't f-ing remember my f-ing tastes!" I can't type it out because I am what is called a Christian. You can say it really because if you are complaining it will sound more natural, more poetically in keeping with the theme.

Since we are all f-ing dying, opportunities to f-ing complain will only increase.
But the Christian has a choice of other words to live by.


Wolfgang Foxglove said...

Evan, fo you think there comes a point when even stoic forbearance itself can become a form of, if not complaint, at least pride? There's something suspect about the person who is forever chanting "The world's a broken thing, and yet I do not complain . . ."

Something about the lady protesting too much. I think your admonition to rejoice deals with the phenomenon nicely, but thought I'd bring this up anyway since you didn't directly adress the issue.


The Oracle said...

I do think temptations are sure to come and pride can attach itself to all success. But that doesn't make success "suspect". A person who does not complain and a person who does are not equally, but differently, sinful. One is obedient and one is not. Other struggles for the obedient are forever present but to paint righteousness as an equivelently dangerous area for the soul gives excuse for those who have no wish to go there.

The Oracle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amanda P. said...

That last sentence (in your comment) is pure gold. Thank you!

Cecilia said...

Sometimes I wonder about you, other times I wonder at you. This is wonderful. Thanks. C. Krueger

The Oracle said...

You are Welcome.
You're welcome.