You have a free evening and two of your friends have told you recently that they'd like to spend more time with you. One of your friends tends to look for every opportunity they get to tell you what they don't like about their life, what they don't like about your life and what is generally wrong with everything. The other friend seams to be at peace with their life and occasionally mentions things about you that they really like. Which friend are you going to call and ask to hang out with?
It isn't hard to describe what kind of people we like to hang out with, but it's much harder to be the kind of person that's fun to spend time with. Complaining, negative attitudes are so much easier to see in others than they are in myself. When I complain I always think I have good cause for my whining. It is an easy habit to pick up and a tough one to put away.
When I look at God's response toward complaining in scripture it's easy to see that He doesn't enjoy spending time with whiners either. He tends to list the sin of complaining with things like murder and adultery. In I Corinthians 10:9-10 Paul writes that a lot of God's children in the Old Testament were destroyed because of their complaining. God is clearly not anxious to hear our complaining.
I've been noticing how many times my prayers are just a spiritual looking form of complaining. I don't feel like I'm complaining if I can say that I'm praying, but if you remove religious words; it's complaining. Complaining praying will make us frustrated and disillusioned with God. We will feel like He's not listening to us because He's not interested in rewarding our complaining.
There actually is a biblical way to lament the difficult things in our lives and we'll pick up that topic on another day. There's also a fake gratitude that is super annoying, but that can be addressed on another day also. Today let's check our hearts and listen to our words. Have I become the person who I don't want to hang out with?
My prayer for today: Lord, you have been so kind and gracious towards me. Forgive me when I only look at my problems and forget your goodness. Turn the eyes of my heart to your glory and goodness, and help me change my attitude to gratitude. Amen