I just had a friend on Facebook post a status update detailing that she is not the perfect mom or wife, that she hasn’t tried to portray that by any means, and that she just chooses to focus on the blessings instead of the struggles.
It made me a little sad that she felt she had to say that.
Social networking has given us a lot more freedom of speech, hasn’t it? And for those of us who are believers, who use these tools to try to be a blessing, to share our lives with others, we can be seen as “phony”. Why? Because we don’t sit on the computer and complain.
I see it a lot. To be honest, I have my moments as well.
I am all for an outlet to exert frustration or other emotions that well up. In a positive way, though. That is, in part, why I have this blog. Selfish, I know. But, BUT when we are always complaining it shows something about our heart. Jesus even said in Luke 6:25 “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Or for the 21st century we could say, “out of the abundance of the heart, the fingers typeth.”
If your heart is ungrateful, it shows. Trust me, it does. I know people who are always looking for the wrong in others and the world around them. They feel they always deserve better than what they have. And they let everyone know it. All their complaining accomplishes is to bring others down. I usually glance past their posts. There are others, however, whose words encourage, journal, or entertain in a positive light. I look forward to reading what they write.
Think of the Israelites… how many times did they complain? And the funny thing about their complaining is that they did it while there were miracles happening all around them.
A pillar of fire was guiding them by night, and a cloud by day… that was a miracle. Yet it wasn’t enough.
Their food came from heaven almost every day, no matter what the weather was like… that was a miracle. Yet it wasn’t enough.
A giant sea was parted on their behalf and drowned their enemies… that was a miracle. Yet it wasn’t enough.
They heard the voice of God… that was a miracle. Yet it wasn’t enough.
They were focused on themselves to the point that they couldn’t see God’s Hand in it all. And they were constantly complaining. Moreover they were complaining about God, about His provision and His goodness. They faced many extreme consequences for those attitudes, and they never learned because they kept staring at themselves. The Israelites missed out on so many blessings because of their focus and attitude.
I don’t want to miss out on the blessings God has for me because I fail to see His Hand in everything. Even the trials.
It is one thing to simply state what is happening. “Sophie* cut herself a mullet…”
It is one thing to go to someone for advice about a problem. “What should I do to fix Sophie’s hair?”
But it is completely another think to say (or type), “That girl just won’t learn. How am I ever going to get her to keep her hair nice? She is so irresponsible and I am so tired of having to correct her mistakes. She doesn’t get it. Why didn’t I have a different child, who eschews scissors?”
We can laugh at the little calamities in life. We can even cry about them. I think, in the right way, we can even ask “why” about our circumstances, although we shouldn’t expect an answer. But we MUST see the blessings in the hard things as well.
“I am thankful that I have a little one to take care of and teach. She gets into trouble, but it is wonderful to have life and spunk in the house.”
See the difference?
So I will be real. I will be honest. I will confess my faults (not other’s faults) to believers. (James 5:16) I am not a hopeless optimist that doesn’t see the realities of real life (although I do try to think the best). But I hope that I am maturing in Christ enough to come to the point where my life is not characterized by a complaining spirit, but by one that is looking up and around to see the blessings, and miracles, that are all around.
*This incident really did happen. Names have not been changed to protect the guilty. : )