September 28, 2010

Constructive Complaints

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 28, 2010

“I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.” Psalm 142:1-2

Christ invites constructive complaints. He does not expect His children to have a complaint free life. It is ok to express our heavy heart to the One who created our heart and emotions. Our complaints are an opportunity to intersect our anxieties with God’s compassion and faithfulness. Complaints are meant for us to regroup with Jesus.

David expressed his humble complaint to the Lord, “Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy” (Psalm 64:1).

However, complaints should not evolve into a gripe session with God without any redeeming outcomes. The purpose is not to spew out frustrations and continue to live a cynical life. The reason for our expressions of fear, doubt, anger or jealousy is to deal with this negative energy in a safe environment.

God listens and loves you; He wants to lead you into a better way. He receives your complaints like a fair and caring judge in a court of law. Here a prepared attorney presents a plaintiff’s complaint of injustice. Your lawyer is Jesus, and He pleads your complaint to your Heavenly father. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Christ frees us from chronic complaining.

Moreover, learn from the Lord how to receive complaints from others. Be patient and understanding with complainers in your life. See them not as an annoyance, but someone who is hurting and in need of relief. You may not know how to fix them or their situation, but you can listen with care and lend a helping hand. People do not want to be fixed, but they do want to be heard with empathetic ears.

Complainers can become a nuisance or their pent up energy can be channeled into productivity. Your biggest complainers can become your most effective managers and leaders. But it requires coaching and leading on your part. People are where you have led them. Anyone can ignore or isolate a complainer, but skilled leaders know how to appreciate and capitalize on those that boldly express themselves.

Listening to complaints may save you a lawsuit or be the springboard for improving a process or policy. There is normally a better way to do something, so listen to those who are in the middle of the work. Grassroots ideas are usually the best ideas. Bad news needs to travel fast, so encourage rapid complaints from those around you. Let complaints become a catalyst for change. Let them draw you closer to God and learn from Him.

“Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction” (Isaiah 29:24).

Am I prayerful and teachable in my complaints to Christ? Who do I need to listen to?

Related Readings: Job 7:11-13; Jeremiah 12:1; Acts 6:1; 18:14

Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God


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