A Change in Volume
It’s easy to focus on the negative.
Maybe it’s just my personality that causes my drift in that direction, but for me, the sound level of complaints seems to carry far above any other level of positive communication that could be happening in that moment. Sadly, it has been the reason for many discouraging days in ministry, not just for me, but for many pastors.
I’m not talking about constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is ok when it takes all sides into account and offers a more positive solution while working for the common goal. That would be a positive experience. I’m talking about the type of complaint or criticism that comes with an attitude that implies a selfish bent and a desire to be self-serving when it comes to any and all activities. These unwholesome critiques come from hearts who deny, with their words and actions, the mission of God to the lost, and instead have bought into a fake gospel that says “it’s all about what I want.” How sad it is when the church feels its own purpose is to exist for her own wants and desires.
We need a change in volume. What if instead of thinking about how we could complain, we started sharing about how we could encourage? What if instead of taking time to talk about how someone made us angry, we talked about something positive that they done? What if instead of complaining about our job, we ask God what He’s calling us to do while were there? What if instead of thinking about those we don’t like, or what those people did to hurt us, we start praying that they would be blessed?
When it comes to church, what if instead of announcing, “I don’t like this song,” we had a heart that was singing? What if the complaints began to fade in comparison to the testimonies of those sharing what God was doing in their lives? What if we stopped thinking about what we want and start asking what do others need? What if, we started thinking about what we could offer, rather than what we can take? What if we since we had nothing good to say, we said nothing at all? What if we truly fell in love with Jesus, and out of love with ourselves?
Here’s what I believe God wants to do in our lives. He wants us to have a reversal in volume. He wants to turn up the volume of our praise, and turn down the volume of our complaints. He wants us to start praising out-loud! The bible says that God is holy, “…enthroned on the praises of Israel.” (Psalms 22:3; ESV) Our praise is the throne room of God. That is a powerful idea. One preacher, with this thought in mind, said that Satan is enthroned by the critical nature.
Father, please help me to walk according to your grace in word, thought, and deed, so that I can always portray an attitude of Praise to your Holy Name, for all that You have done! Amen
See how long you can go without complaining. The next time you utter a complaint, stop, put it in reverse, ask God to forgive you, and thank Him for something specific in your life.
Driven Communicator of the Word .Leader of Change.Former Southern Gospel Singer/Songwriter.Family Man.Husband to the Most Amazing Woman in the World.Blessed Beyond Measure.
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