Friday, October 26, 2012

Overcoming A Complaining Spirit-Praying Through Problems

Series: Overcoming A Complaining Spirit

I knew the story before she arrived. “She stepped on my foot. I don’t think she meant to, but it hurt.” “Are you okay,” I asked. She was and trotted off.

No sooner had she ambled away than another wobbled up, pointed with a crooked finger and said “I was playing with the basketball and he took it away.” I whispered, “I’ll watch him.”

Sadly, this all-too-common complaining spirit follows us into adulthood. It did with the Israelites. Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused (Numbers 11:1).

Having endured 400 years slaving for a foreign power, you’d think freedom would have squelched any complaints, but they were barely out of Egypt when they started. Their complaints began when they saw the Red Sea before them and Pharaoh’s armored chariots pulled by bellowing horses behind them. “Moses, why did you bring us into the desert to die?” God delivered them, but they quickly whined about their food and water shortage. So God delivered manna and quail and poured water from a rock. Still they complained.

Moses himself wasn’t immune; he complained about the complainers. But eventually he made the proper move and gave God the problem. Complaining about life’s challenges-and other things in general that dissatisfy us, only sours our attitude and embitters our relationship with others who probably have enough troubles of their own. While some complaints are merited, how we handle solving the issue reflects on our testimony and character. Through prayer, God can show us the positive side of our dilemma, change our attitude, and give us wisdom to take the appropriate action. When life sours on you-or when you’re tempted to complain just to be complaining, pray instead. 

Prayer: Merciful Savior, when we’re attracted to complaining, draw us to prayer.