For the past 2-3 years, to better develop my self-control and break bad habits, I fast multiple times per year, usually for a month at a time. One month, I may give up sodas, another I may fast from bread, another month I may fast from buying lunch, forcing myself to pack my lunch. I have fasted from raising my voice at my children, I have fasted from going to WalMart. Between my January birthday and the Super Bowl, I do not fast--I eat and do basically, whatever I want. I start Lent on the Monday after the Super Bowl, which for 2019, was last week. Someone suggested that I fast in phases, but I decided to jump right in with my 2019 fast. Well...I was supposed to start on Monday, and I did fast on Monday and Tuesday, I believe, but by Wednesday, the temptation to sin was overwhelming and I slipped back into my bad habit. I can say, my awareness of this sin, is now ready for me to take action against it. For Lent, I am fasting from complaining.
In my two days of not complaining, but praying and meditating, I became more aware of how often I am tempted to share my discontentment, in conversation, with other like-minded people. I have realized that when I am am complaining I am not focussed on how good God has been to me, I am not thinking about how grateful I am for all that God has done and continues to do in my life. Instead, I am focussing on the change that I want to see, the plans that I have made, and timeline I have set. :-(
Complaining is not necessarily ungodly. We should “cast [our] cares on Him because He cares for [us].” (1 Peter 5:7) Essentially, David was complaining when he wrote many of the Psalms. “I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble”. (Psalm 142:1-2) I don’t recall exactly what I said this week, but I don’t think it came out like David’s psalms.
Grumbling, on the other hand is ungodly. According to Jon Bloom, grumbling is when we “declare that God is not sufficiently good, faithful, loving, wise, powerful, or competent. Otherwise, he would treat us better or run the universe more effectively.” We must be very careful that our complaining does not become grumbling. The Israelites grumbled as Moses and Aaron attempted to lead them to the Promised Land. We read in Numbers 14:26-27, 29 ”And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me.” (v. 29) “...your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness…” I hope I haven’t been grumbling.
This week, I will redouble my efforts not to complain. This week, my prayers will be many and my meditation will be lengthy. My sighting of light this week has been the truth and necessity of Proverbs 10:19. “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” Thanks for reading, I will let you know how it goes!
Have a blessed week!
I am a wife, mother, educator, and author who, between other duties, enjoys writing. My name is actually Kimberly Griffith Massey. In this blog, I will share some sighting of God's light each week.
Author Photo by
Heather G. Rollings, 2017
Cover photo by Carlton Griffith Photography