1 Peter 4:9—Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
Frink* wrote an email and sent it to the CEO, CFO and HRO of a major corporation. He complained that his wife Delilah worked in a toxic environment, that her supervisors were incompetent and mean-spirited and that the section was basically a clique that considered his wife a racist. Concerned with the possibility of unfavorable press and a lawsuit, even though Frink’s wife worked four departments below his level, the CEO directed Jeff the boss of Delilah’s boss to personally call Frink and listen to whatever he had to say.
So Jeff called Frink. For an hour he listened to the man complain of the poor treatment his wife endured. He said what a great person and worker Delilah was and that she had never had any problems in sixteen years of work in other departments. He said she was close to having a nervous breakdown. He demanded that Jeff have her reassigned to another company within the corporation. He closed his conversation with Jeff by mentioning that he and his wife were Christians. Jeff, also a Christian, sent Frink a follow-up email encouraging them to apply Philippians 4:6,7.
Frink was happy that Jeff was also a Christian. He thanked him by email for sharing the Bible passage. He then compared Delilah’s situation to that of Daniel in the lion’s den. Jeff reminded Frink that Daniel rather than complaining about the way his enemies treated him, trusted God and remained at peace. The lesson seemed lost on Frink.
The company’s inspector general conducted an investigation to see if Delilah’s complaints were valid. He determined that her section’s leaders made some mistakes in the way they treated her and that some procedures were not in alignment with corporate policy. But he also found after interviewing ten coworkers that Delilah was a marginal performer at best. Her social skills were poor, she constantly complained about the work she was assigned, and she displayed far less leadership than her pay grade merited.
Delilah took no personal responsibility for her shortcomings. In her mind her problems were all the fault of those around her. She fed her husband a daily dose of whining and he added his own woeful harmony. It would seem they had never read Philippians 2:14,15 which states, “Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.” Notice, the Apostle Paul did not write “It’s okay to grumble if you are mistreated. It’s fine to argue if your opinion is not carrying the day.” He said “do everything without grumbling!” There is no exception clause in Scripture where God gives us permission to whine, complain, grumble, carp. nitpick, or nag.
Whining is a poison to faith. It shows that we don’t trust God and we hold Him responsible for our poor circumstances. Complaining degrades God’s reputation. If it is true that nobody likes a whiner, it is also true that whining Christians give God a bad name and hurt the gospel message. The Bible instructs us, “It is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22b). To expect people to always treat us right and for our circumstances to be to our liking is to reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of the world. Until Jesus returns and cleans up the planet, every generation that fails to follow Him is going to be crooked and perverted. Be different.
If people mistreat you, pray for them. Respectfully state your concerns and if you are ridiculed or ignored then ask God for strength to endure. Remember, just because you don’t get your way does not necessarily mean someone else’s way is wrong. If you are subject to immoral, unethical or illegal behavior you may have to go to the authorities. Just don’t whine! If you need an example, look at Jesus. He was criticized by the religious establishment. He was run out of His home town. His family said He’d lost His mind. His disciples consistently second guessed Him. His own Father designed His brutal crucifixion. Yet there is no account of Him ever whining. Never did Jesus say, “I don’t deserve this.” Even when Pilate gave Him the chance to speak in His own defense, He remained silent. If only we could do the same. A restrained mouth is a symphony to heaven.
*All names are fictitious but the storyline is true
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)