May 20, 2020 · Bob Gass
“Do everything without complaining." Philippians 2:14 NLT
Chronic complainers are almost impossible to help. You can never satisfy them, but they won’t let you stop trying, so you end up feeling trapped. Once you get a reputation as a chronic complainer, people avoid you like the plague and you end up feeling lonely and unappreciated. And chances are you’ll never really understand why! Attitudes don’t just happen—you choose them. Paul wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4 NKJV). Joylessness is something many church folks are prone to indulge in, and it’s usually not the kind of problem that gets you tossed out of the choir or removed from the church board. The psalmist writes, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 NKJV). Notice that he doesn’t say, “Yesterday was God’s day, how happy I was then.” Or “Tomorrow will be God’s day, I’ll endure until then.” No, this day is a gift from God! Complaining is often self-centred; it’s about what you like and don’t like. It is self-focused. Real joy is a choice. It comes to those who devote themselves to something greater than their own happiness. There are decisions you get to make every day, like what you eat, the clothes you wear—and the attitude you project. Paul was in prison with no hope of release when he wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” His circumstances didn’t dictate his joy, his focus did! And the same goes for you. “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT). So today choose joy!