Killing Complaining

O Lord, I am astonished at the difference

between my receivings and my deservings,

between the state I am now in and my past gracelessness

between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit

The Mover from Valley of Vision

Honest confession: I’ve been a complainer lately. My life has been somewhat – okay insanely – busy. Long papers to write, tricky Greek words to memorize, books to read – all wonderful things leaving me little time for anything else. I feel like I’m stumbling through a fog, just moving from one thing to the next.

And I’ve had a low-grade cold that won’t go away, like one of those people who doesn’t pick up certain social cues. I’ve been chomping on Zinc and guzzling “Airborne” but things still aren’t quite right.

It’s these kind of weeks that are ripe for complaining. I survey my life, look at the chaos around me, and feel like I deserve better. I deserve a peaceful life, good health, and a small bird sitting on my shoulder singing a happy tune (okay scratch that last one). Or do I?

Nothing kills complaining like a good dose of the gospel. When I consider the difference between what I really deserve and what I’ve received, I am astonished. Each morning I experience new mercies from God – I should be experiencing new judgments. God is my loving Father – he should be my judge. I am always getting much, much better than I deserve. The gospel leaves zero margin for complaining.

The next time you’re tempted to complain about your tyrannical boss, or bickering kids, or chronic illness, ponder the gospel. Let yourself be astonished at the difference between what you’ve received and what you deserve.

  • Ron Reffett

    Hey Stephen!
    Wow, what a great post! As I sit here and read this post, I’m listening to a teaching by R.C. Sproul on the Incarnation and the gospel! Coincidence? I don’t think so!
    We do have such a tendency to lean toward the negative side of things, especially when things don’t go our way…or how we envision things to go. We are always getting better than what we deserve thanks to this amazing gospel. We are truly worse off than we think that we are, but we are more loved than we could ever have imagined.
    Ron Reffett

  • Megan Liz

    *Megan confesses* I am somewhat of a chronic complainer. :( I have a cold now too, and these past couple weeks especially seem to be made for complaints. So I guess it’s all about getting a perspective! When I compare my problems with someone else’s they seem so huge, but when I compare them with the undeserved joy that I have, they’re next to nothing.

  • Melissa Goins

    This is one of my favorite Valley of Vision prayers…Thank you for the reminder, Stephen. Very timely!! We are forever and always blessed beyond measure because of Christ!!! I heard someone say once “I feel like a mouse in the middle of a cheesecake.” A perfect analogy!!!