Thursday, April 16, 2009
Complaining, Sin, and the Sovereignty of God
We live in a society that complains about everything. We live in an era that is the most advanced technologically in history, yet we complain. We have machines to do nearly anything for us, but we gripe and gripe and gripe.
I understand why non-Christians complain. Because they do not know God, they are concerned primarily with themselves. When focus is on self, that person will complain.
But why do Christians complain? We have been told very clearly not to complain. In Philippians 4:14, Paul writes, "Do all things without complaining and disputing." This passage follows immediately after the great Christ Hymn of 2:5-11. In light of the context, we ought to be serving rather than complaining.
I believe there are at least two reasons why Christians (including me) complain:
First, we do not really grasp the depth of our sin. If we truly thought biblically about the holiness of God and the utter rebellion that our sin is, we would also see that we deserve absolutely nothing good in this life. John tells us that sin is lawlessness. What we do deserve is an express ticket to the Lake of Fire.
Second, we do not really believe that God is sovereign. I must admit that I give lip-service to God's sovereignty, but I'm not consistent in acting like I believe it is true. If God is sovereign, then this means that He controls all my circumstances. Since that is the case, I have nothing to complain about.
We complain because our focus is inward instead of Godward. We would do much better by focusing on meeting the needs of others instead of thinking about what would make our lives easier.