Hardwired to Complain

This evening, a friend of mine posted this video on facebook.  Take a minute and watch it.

That last one really got me.  I don’t know if it was the ridiculousness of the complaint itself, or the precious face of the boy who said it.

This really made me think.  If we have everything we could possibly need, and much of what we want as well, why do we complain?

The answer is sad:  We’re hardwired to complain.  No matter what socioeconomic status we hold, no matter where we live or what we do or what we have, we will always complain.  Complaining comes from an entitlement mentality — it irritates us when we can’t have what we think we deserve.  But the truth is, we really have no rights.  None at all.  We have no rights because we are not self-made.  We are absolutely, completely dependent on something beyond ourselves for our existence.  It’s a privilege that we’re even here on earth.  It’s a privilege that we get to breathe air.  You’re not entitled to eyes and ears or feet that walk.  And you’re definitely not entitled to your neighbor’s Wi-Fi.

Every tax bracket has its own breed of complaints, and they all sound ridiculous to whoever is underneath.  But the truth is, all complaints are equal.  They all stem from a whiny, self-centered mentality, no matter what they are.  When we’re in need, it should remind us to be thankful for what we have, but instead it only seems to produce a stubborn insistence on more.  As humans, we are all hopelessly hardwired to complain.

But in Christ, we are to put away the old self and become a new creation.  We are to lay down our rights and live in humility.  Over the past few weeks, complaining is one of the things I’ve become convicted about.  Complaining is not a mindset of peace or contentment; rather, it is a display of emptiness and restlessness.  But we are to be fulfilled by Christ.  We have all we need in Him — right?  But when we complain, it sends the opposite message to the world.  It says of us, “He’s not satisfied either.  She’s no more content than I am.”  As followers of Christ, we need to be pursuing peace and sharing the message of peace and fulfillment with the world, not falling prey to petty irritations.  It takes a toll on the testimony of our lives.

Philippians 4:11-13 — “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.  In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Paul knew what Jesus meant to him.  Do you?

Philippians 2:14-16 — “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.”

It matters how you present yourself to the world. So…

Philippians 4:8 — “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

I had these three verses in my head as I began the blog post, and I totally forgot that they were all in the same book of the Bible.  Coincidence?  Probably not.  The whole book was written through the filter of Paul’s contentment.

Let your life be lived through the filter of yours.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This video was played in church a week or two ago. And then Jonathan and I were watching something on tv the other night and saw this commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT77GofLYZE It was slightly horrifying.

  2. Yeah, it always brings it more to the surface when there’s such a direct contrast!


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