April 14, 2016

Stop that whining!

My husband sometimes plays golf with a man who whines about everything. At first it was amusing, but DH soon learned how to gently remind the fellow to be thankful, to be glad that he is still on the right side of the grass.

Being thankful helps me to stop whining too. God is taking care of me so I dare not complain that He isn’t doing a good job. However, there is another way to deal with the things in life that can rob me of enjoyment. It is found in these four verses:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:6)

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29)

Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

The first way to stop grumbling is by remembering to share my yoke with Jesus. Whatever load God puts on me, we are pulling it together. I can watch my divine Teammate and see His gentleness and humility as He pulls. In Him, I find rest for my soul, a kind of rest that totally overwhelms any kind of fatigue or reason to complain.

Second, if I am whining because God is chastening me, I can take joy in the fact that He does it because He loves me. We might sing “just as I am” — which is true — this is how God loves me, but I should be glad that He also loves me too much to leave me that way. I can be joyful in chastening for this means that I am being transformed into the image of Christ. That is glory for me!

Third, when I am exhausted, I can whine or depend on Him to renew my strength. Fatigue might drive me to a power nap, to eating chocolate, or even to grumbling, but it should drive me to Him. He promises to increase my strength. He might use sleep, or food, but never whining.

Fourth, Nehemiah speaks to the people who were grieving over their sin. I do that, sometimes to the point of beating myself up. But this man told God’s people to carry on with life now that they had confessed and repented. They should stop grieving and allow the joy of the Lord to fill their hearts. That joy would give them the emotional strength to continue walking with Him.

Again, whining never fixes anything. It only puts my focus on me, poor me, and totally annoys those who hear it. Unless I choose to turn it into prayer and seek God, He isn’t listening either.

Chambers says: “If you have the whine in you, kick it out ruthlessly. It is a positive crime to be weak in God’s strength.”

I say, “Amen!”