Week 8, Day 5

Choosing God Over Self

When you focus on self, worldly factors interfere in your receipt of divine blessings. One such factor is complaining. It happens and is from the world! It is a “self” thing. Honestly, we all do it and often label it as “venting”. While it is acceptable to release your frustrations from time to time with a trusted friend or your spouse, how much is too much? Do you complain to the point of missing out on the blessings that God has placed all around you each day? On the other hand, be someone who is always encouraging others, finding joy in all circumstances, building relationship and knowing from Whom all blessings flow. That person is a pleasure to know and interact with, as well as being a blessing to all they encounter on life’s journey for His Kingdom’s purpose.

The Bible strongly warns us to refrain from complaining and arguing. Such behaviors reveal our dissatisfaction with God’s people and situations, and ultimately with God Himself and what He is doing around us and for us. One of the biggest examples of people complaining in the Bible was with the Israelites (Exodus 16:2). After God had taken them out of slavery in Egypt, parted the Red Sea for them, given them water from a rock, and fed them manna from the sky, they still complained about their situation. Complaining displeases God immensely and we see how the generation of complainers from Israel ended up wandering in the desert for 40 years and never made it into Canaan, the Promised Land. They missed out on His blessings. In Genesis 45:24, Joseph sent his brothers on their way, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel (argue) on the journey!”

Complaining often leaves us dissatisfied, drained, and discontented. Finding ways to reduce complaining can have a positive impact on your life and well-being, as well as help you to receive God’s blessings. In addition to improving your relationships, such ways can also help you feel better about your life which is a result of the choices that you have made. Do everything without grumbling and arguing and focus on building relationship with Jesus and with others (Philippians 2:14). Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-23).

Grace is when God gives us good things that we don’t deserve. Mercy is when He spares us from the bad things we deserve. Blessings are when He is generous with both. God is good all the time!

What we say easily becomes a reflection of what’s in our hearts. Speaking negatively about ourselves, the people around us, or events takes the focus away from God’s work. Complaining is a harmful habit that can destroy our character, faith, and trust, as well as hinder us from receiving the blessings that God has in store for us. God’s blessings are all around us! If we would only take the time to listen, be still, be aware, and receive those blessings as God had intended us to have and share. Choosing God over self is a win-win choice which provides you with the foundation to build and grow in relationship with Him and His children, as well as receiving His blessings on your journey.

Reflection Questions

• Which person are you and why? The complainer who loses out on His blessings or the person who seeks to be Christ-like and finds the blessings around them and experiences the joy that comes each morning from Him?

• Have you been in a season of dissatisfaction and complaining? What did you (or will you) do to bring closure to that season and please God in the process? What can you do to change your situation, so that you don’t wander in this modern “desert” for days, months, or even years and miss out on God’s blessings?
Eddie and his wife Jennifer have served in many capacities over the last seventeen years at Heritage. They currently serve as prayer team leaders on Sunday mornings and play a significant role at The Storehouse. They have been serving as short term missionaries leading a mission team to Peru each year over the last eleven years. Eddie is also one of the most encouraging - and least complaining! - people you will ever meet!
Posted in ,

No Comments