Words of Worth

I Want to, but I Shouldn’t

May 13, 2011

Is there something you really want to do but know you shouldn’t? I was asked that question the other day and I really didn’t know how to answer it. My mind went to thoughts of things that might be illegal, sinful, or fattening, like insider trading, giving someone a piece of my mind, or eating a vanilla and chocolate twist ice cream cone while dipping a soft pretzel into it. And then it dawned on me that what I really wanted to do but knew I shouldn’t, was simply this: COMPLAIN. And what I wanted to complain about is that since having some minor knee surgery in January, I majorly haven’t been able to do knee squats –something I was actually quite good at doing for long periods of times especially during my years of playing softball as a catcher.

Even though I wanted to, I haven’t complained for many of the following reasons: it’s not the worst problem I could have; people have much more serious challenges than knee squat deficiency; I most likely will never play softball again; I should be thankful I still have a knee even if it doesn’t bend; I should remember, as someone pointed out to me, that unless I go to live in a jungle where the creature comforts of inside plumbing are missing, I most likely will never need to squat again; and the number one reason I haven’t complained? You got it! The Bible says to do all things WITHOUT murmuring and complaining (Philippians 2:14: “Do all things without grumbling…” ). No grumbling, muttering, murmuring, or complaining. So that settled it for me!

Or did it? I still wanted to complain even though I knew I shouldn’t. How then could I reconcile my “want to” with my “should not”? Surely there exists a loophole in the ban on whining and complaining. And after all isn’t complaining an art form? And shouldn’t we be doing all we can to keep the arts from dying? Well, many experts seem to agree with my justification as they offer advice on how to complain artistically and get results, how to passively aggressively turn complaints into solutions, how to get a refund on poor service, or a poor meal comped, or a spouse to hear your complaints about them as “I feel statements” and not critical judgments.

And surely there is a verse in Scripture that could justify my complaining! If I could only find the backing of God, I was good to complain all day! How about Psalm 55:17? “Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice.” Well there it is! Permission to complain with reckless abandon!

Ah, but I may want to read something into that verse that really isn’t there. The complaining and murmuring that David did all day long was the right form of complaining that we all should do. He prayed, fervently and frequently, to the One who could do something about his complaints. The psalmist lifted up his heart to God, the One who wants to hear our every murmur, and the only One who can do anything about them! Our complaints do not have to be artistic. They only need to be authentic pleas before our loving God.

I wanted to complain about my knee, and I thought I shouldn’t, but now I am bending on my bad knee before the Creator of that knee, complaining and murmuring evening, morning, and noon. And now my “want to” and “should not” have no complaints! How about you? (SV)

Looking for more words? Why not read Psalm 55 in its entirety and Daniel 6:10 and learn how often God wants you to “complain” to Him and how He never tires of hearing from you!

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