Complaints Unlimited

One day in my late teens my mother complained that I didn’t smile
enough. She said I looked too serious. During the last 60 years since
that motherly complaint I’ve managed to improve in that department if
only by resorting to a bit of humor now and then, smiling at my own

David tells us that he was restless in his complaint to
God because of the enemy (compare Psalm 55:2-3), and who wouldn’t
complain if we were in his position with the terror of death constantly
facing us?

Society today is chock full of complaints. One waits
for a bus for 40 minutes, and then 3 come along at the same time;
police seem inept to stop cyclists from riding on the pavements and
threatening to knock down some fragile 80-year old lady; crime
statistics are atrociously off the scale; courtesy is “out the window”;
politics becomes a by-word for sleaze and corruption; we suffer a
barrage of profanity at the street level and on our TV and movie
screens; we are confronted with “political correctness” in its mad
interpretation of what might offend someone else or some other group.
Thus we are witness, and sometimes righteously so, to a kaleidoscope of
human complaints which make life just that bit more difficult to cope

The Israelites who left Egypt were good at grumbling. And
they paid the penalty for their unholy, incessant complaints–an
obvious lesson for us in the cause for restraint during our Christian
endeavor to meet God’s criteria for righteous behavior.

We might
have heard of those in the Church who grumble and even scoff about the
sermons; about Church publications; about the minister; and about
Church doctrine and whatever else comes to mind, all of which reflects
a kind of ungodly religion. Their mind is not set on resolving
complaints amicably but rather on their opinionated idea that they
serve the cause by showing how clever their arguments are. Solomon said
“…if you scoff, you will bear it alone” (Proverb 9:12).

We may
think of the teenaged Eskimo who complained to his parents he didn’t
get enough blubber to chew on last week; or the South American Indian
perched on the frigid heights of the Andes complaining about
his lost blanket; or the Saudi Arab grumbling about how hot it is when
it’s 110° in the shade…. And all this complaining to what
end? As someone said, “There is nothing but ill fortune in a
habit of grumbling, which requires no talent, no self-denial, no
brains, no character.”

If my mother were alive today, I
think I could conjure up a smile that would melt away any complaint she
might yet have. Oh yes, I complain! I complain that this world is going
“potty,” and I grieve for those who are suffering, and I wait eagerly
for that great day of Christ’s return and ultimately the cessation of
grumbling, of scoffing, of scorn, of complaining.

©2024 Church of the Eternal God