WE ALL WANT to receive the best God has for us. But having that happen may require us to make adjustments. A car can seem to be working fine and go awhile without getting an oil change or a tune-up. But when it is fine-tuned, it will get better gas mileage, have more power, and operate at peak performance.
In our personal lives, we can get by pretty well but still fall short of God’s best. That is an indication we need fine-tuning. One area we can go wrong in is criticizing and complaining.
It’s easy to criticize others and complain about what we don’t have. But in Philippians 2:14, the Apostle Paul admonished us, “Do everything without complaining or arguing” (NIV 1984).
Be Honest With Yourself
To make sure we don’t fall into this trap, we must be honest with ourselves. It’s easy to see where someone else can improve. But it’s another story to recognize the improvements we need to make.
If everything we said during a day was recorded, what would we hear when listening to the MP3? Would it be filled with griping, complaining, arguing, and criticism? LET’S PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT WE SAY AND MAKE THE NECESSARY CHANGES.
Choosers accept responsibility for their own decisions.
Don’t Sin With Your Mouth
Complaining is not just a bad habit; it’s a sin. In First Corinthians 10:10, Paul wrote about how the children of Israel murmured against God. They witnessed many miracles in the desert, but they still complained. And those complaints were one reason they didn’t go into the Promised Land.
Complainers and criticizers cause strife among believers. And we see in Proverbs 6:16–19 that God hates people who do that.
Stop the Blame Game
Another area that can need fine-tuning is blaming God and others for our problems. Some people
never take responsibility for anything that happens. It’s always somebody else’s fault.
We need to realize that no one twists our arm when we make a decision. IF WE ANALYZE OUR CHOICES, WE WILL SEE THAT WE ARE OFTEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES.
People fall into three categories: accusers, excusers, and choosers.
Accusers always blame someone else. Adam was an accuser. He blamed Eve and God for what happened in the Garden of Eden. He said, “It’s because of this wife that You gave me” (Gen. 3:12).
Excusers say, “I’m a product of my environment.” Their situation is never their fault, and they can always give you a reason why.
Choosers accept responsibility for their own decisions. If they make a wrong move, they are willing to reap what they sow. And if they need to ask God for forgiveness, they do and move on.
Excusers and accusers move nowhere.
Focus on What You Have
Many people complain because they focus on what they don’t have. Scripture tells us, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18 NIV).
We are not told to give thanks for the circumstance but in it. In other words, WE SHOULD DEVELOP AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE. We can learn to be grateful for what we have. It’s hard for us to be thankful if we’re always complaining. The two don’t mix.
Think Before You Talk
Paul told us in Philippians 2:15 (NIV 1984) not to complain or argue so we may “become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” When we develop a positive outlook and don’t complain, we will stand out from others.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Before we say something, let’s ask ourselves,
- IS IT TRUE?
- DOES IT NEED TO BE SAID?
- WILL IT HELP ANYBODY?
- IS IT UPLIFTING OR EDIFYING?
Let’s fine-tune ourselves and put a guard over our mouths. Let’s determine not to complain or criticize. As we do, we will shine like the stars and receive God’s best.
Kenneth W. Hagin
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