I was sauntering through the most taxing situation I’d ever faced and convinced God would understand my decision to stop.
While merely a tot, my parents taught me to tithe. Each time I came into money-whether a gift or earned, they reminded me about God’s share. When the offering plate passed, I tossed in my dues. But now I was complaining and trying to convince myself God understood my circumstances and would endorse my decision to adjust his portion. I struggled with this priority shift for several years until I finally gave in and tithed regardless of whether I could afford it.
The Israelites also struggled with priorities. God’s main concern for them was freedom from slavery and entrance into their Promised Land. He had accomplished the first and was in the process of completing the second when their misplaced priorities interfered. God gave them daily manna, but they wanted fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain (Numbers 11:4 NLT).
As I wanted God’s blessings without sacrifice, so God’s ancient people preferred their past situation to God’s present circumstances and complained when God didn’t deliver. Jumbled priorities make complaining easy and seemingly justifiable. Thinking we know better than God, we gripe when he doesn’t deliver. Loving God, our families and then others as ourselves should be our chief priorities. As we do, God promises food, shelter and clothing. When we’re obedient to the former and satisfied with the latter, we’ll find less to complain about. Are jumbled priorities causing you to complain?
Prayer: Father, when we’re tempted to complain about things we don’t have, remind us that in Christ we have all we need.