over this past week i have felt that small quiet nudging of the Holy Spirit. and i have felt just a sickness deep in my gut whenever i think about this conviction. and i feel silly. and embarressed. and full of regret. because this conviction that i have is something that everyone can see. or should i say, hear. 

i complain. 

you can pretend that you dont notice, but the truth is, if you read this blog, follow me on twitter, or are my friend on facebook you will quickly notice that i rarely say anything good.  & if you are a close friend of mine, its even worse. and if you are my husband - it is like rotteness in your bones. and thankfully Jesus has convicted me of this very clearly. repentance is happening - today. 
here is a story.

i have been talking to my husband recently about how i feel really worn out after i spend any amount of time with anyone who is complaining. i was telling him about how it just sucks me dry and i dont even want to be around that person when they start doing that. i want to tell them that there is SO much good in their life. and because my husband is a loving, gentle, gracious and patient man, he didnt say anything and he waited while i talked this through and finally came to the conclusion that I AM THAT PERSON. i complain - i have NO joy - i act like there is nothing good in my life. i am the person sucking life out of all those around me.  i have much to be thankful for, but instead blabber on about all the things that are "hard". he pulled out a book we have on our coffee table called, note to self 
this book is so awesome because its easy to read, and really convicting. i am terrible at preaching the gospel to myself and this book really helps me to do that.  anyways, he opened it up to chapter 35 - stop complaining. this is kind of lengthy but here is what he read to me. 

"dear self,
lets get something straight. you complain, and you know it. you complain in the car, in your home, at church, and about a number of different things. the problem with your complaining is that you dont see it as a problem. you view it as harmless venting. you believe you are just stating facts, that a certain circumstance is frustrating. your justification of complaining is truly unfortunate, because it certainly bothers God. the reason you complain is the reason that it is wrong. you complain because you misunderstand{or just miss all together} the grace you have received and the purposes of God in your life. you misunderstand the grace you have received by not recognizing it and receiving it with gratitude. life, breath and all of Gods provisions for your life are acts of his kindness and are truly wonderful, and yet they all seem to disappear when the small inconveniences of life appear. in most of your complaining you miss the good purposes of God for your life - purposes he has made clear. "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God." {romans 8"28} this truth should remain a constant meditation, particularly in a world filled with frustration, frailty, and failure.though we are not always aware of the particular ways in which God causes all things to work out for our good, we have this promise and it should be enough to challenge and conquer our complaining spirit. and no, you do not get a pass because you can handle the big problems in your life with this promise but not the small ones. perhaps when sickness, death and affliction come into your life you run to God and his promises and find comfort that gives peace and patience. maybe it is just the small stuff that you sweat. so what is the big deal? everything! in fact, your complaining about the small stuff is more dangerous than complaining about the big, because life is made up of the small stuff. tragedies punctuate periods of your life, but it is the smaller inconveniences that make up the bulk of your existence, and this is what most people will see you handle. those situations are the most obvious testing ground of your faith. if Gods grace is big enough for you to handle the big problems, why isnt it enough to walk meekly though the smaller issues? perhaps the lesson is that you haven't driven the gospel deep enough into your heart and mind. otherwise it would bear fruit precisely where you need it. are you complaining today? consider the grace of God in all of life and in the gospel particularly. be assured of his purpose in all things inconvenient and tragic, and you will find the cure for complaining."

um. i am pretty sure that this letter could have been directed at me personally. i am actually going to print this chapter out and try to read it once a day. becuase i complain too much. all the time. sure, i feel like i have A LOT of things to complain about - a high energy toddler, a messy house, clothes that dont fit, a broken down car.. the list could go on and on. but the root of the problem is that i am not understanding the gospel. i complain so often that i miss seeing the good things that Jesus is doing in our lives. how sad is that?! its terrible. it breaks my heart. and it is going to stop. now. 

i understand that there are going to be days that i vent, days that i complain, and days that i sin and mess up - i am not perfect and i am not expecting perfection from myself, but i have been in a very long season of venting, and complaining, and i never want to be in a season like this again. so, i am getting practical. taking my sin to the cross, asking for forgiveness, and starting fresh. i am going to start recording things i am thankful for - everytime i want to complain i am going to think of something good and WRITE IT DOWN. because otherwise i'll forget. and this verse is going on our chalkboard this month

because, i have got to kill this sin that is killing me, that is stealing my joy and sucking life out of me, my husband and my friends. 

conviction is hard. its painful and its vital to life. i am so thankful for the gentle way Jesus {and my husband} have led me to repentace in this area. i am sincerally sorry to all of you whom i have sucked dry because of my constant complaining. will you forgive me?

 i am looking forward to less complaining and more rejoicing. 
and i am sure you are too. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

please say hello & leave your sweet thoughts!