Overcoming the temptation to complain

James 1:13-15–Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

1 Cor 10:13–No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Today I started reading Job in my One-Year Bible plan and it got me thinking, as so many things do.  The thought that I had was, “What right do I have to complain about anything?”  Here was a man that was so righteous that God boasted about him to Satan–twice.  And yet, despite his righteousness (or, more accurately, because of it), God allows everything to be taken from him just to prove to Satan that his love for God is real.

I am, by nature, a complainer.  I have gotten better in recent years, but the fact remains that I complain about a lot of things that I shouldn’t.  When I look at Job, however, it puts things in perspective.  I have never suffered loss like this, and I might never experience that kind of loss.  Yet this man who lost everything held firm to his faith.  When things are not going the way I want them to go it is really tempting to start complaining.  I usually keep my complaints these days to myself (although I often share them with my hubby, who, by the way is amazing), but God knows about the grumbling in my heart.

Over the past ten or so years I have matured in my Christian faith and have overcome many of my former temptations, but this is one that still has a pretty good hold on me.  I know that, compared to some other sins it might seem minor, but I don’t believe there is a “sin ranking” in which some sins are bad and some are worse.  I think that sin is sin.  If I lie, I might as well have murdered somebody because I broke the rules and that means that I deserve death (praise God that Jesus paid for my sins).

So, the next time the temptation arises to start complaining about my circumstances, I am going to a) remember Job, b) remember to thank Jesus for paying the price for my sins, c) remember that temptation comes from me turning away from God and leads to sin (James 1:13-15), and d) remember to ask God to show me the escape route (1 Cor 10:13).  Or, at least that’s what I intend to do.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Linden Wolfe
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 16:19:52

    I can so identify. Great thoughts! Here are my similar thoughts on the subject: http://captivatedbychrist.org/2011/05/17/the-complaint-department-is-closed/

    Reply

  2. Trackback: For Crying Out Loud! « After the Ecstasy, the Laundry . . .

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