In HOPE

  In HOPE 5.31                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

Have you seen Nancy Pearcey's Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity (Crossway, 2005, 2005)? Pearcey gives a comprehensive and widely heralded analysis of "Christian worldview" and how it can change not just individual lives but entire cultures, for the better. Her book has already received "The Gold Medallion Book Award."       

HOPE Happenings

On Saturday, December 10th, Hope International University students will perform a Benefit Concert here on the Fullerton campus to support Invisible Children, an organization devoted to helping the many children of Uganda who have been caught up in war as child-soldiers.

 

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

"God does not require good people in order to do good work. As one medieval saying has it, God draws straight lines with a crooked stick."  (Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in History)


I Don't Like It

Complaining is a national (perhaps international) past-time.Not that it's a new development.

People of all cultures throughout the ages have found reason to murmur and grumble. The Hebrews completely forgot the hardship of slavery and longed to return to Egypt for leeks, onions, and garlic - just what we all want for dinner tonight (Numbers 11.5). Jonah the prophet was unhappy that God's way was not his way. He asked to die (Jonah 4.3, 8). That's a major complaint. The disciples got bent out of shape when James' and John's mommy got to Jesus first and asked for special favors for her boys (Mark 10.41). And so it continues.

Murmur, complaint, and criticism have a rich history - long before we started to perfect them in our own lives.

In the workplace we cosnattly find fault with workmates, bosses, and conditions. Everyone's too demanding; people don't listen; we're not appreciated; yada, yada, yada.

In the marketplace we grizzle about service (or lack thereof) and poor products. It's not like the old days when people took pride in their work and products were made to last; yada, yada, yada.

Our marriages underperform our expectations and our children underachieve their potential. School teachers don't do enough to motivate our kids. Pastors don't preach well. Leaders are incompetent. Churches are unfriendly. Neighbors don't extend themselves; yada, yada, yada.

Even the weather is usually too hot, or too cold, or too wet, or too something. And so the gripe list continues.

We all like to talk about our problems more than His provision. We see difficulties rather than opportunities. And we devote ourselves more to a critical spirit than to a constructive one.

Never mind the psychology that lies behind it, or the excuses we want to create for it. Our whining and whinging does little to honor Christ. Amidst our abundance, how can we demand more - essentially, "grumbling against God" (Exodus 16.8)? "In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you which He made possible through Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5.18). Yes, the death of Christ - properly understood - makes every inconvenience and every irritation turn pale.  

This Thanksgiving, while we feast on turkey (those poor birds are entitled to feel aggrieved at this time of year), perhaps we might fast from complaining ... and find ourselves delightfully in the middle of His will.

In HOPE -

David

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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/