Friday, March 23, 2012
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Ken really felt he got a promotion when he left the business world to enter full-time Christian ministry, and I think he did. But it wasn't so much because of the salary. Oh, I'm sure you thought it was because of the great money that he would make in Christian ministry. No, it wasn't because of the great benefits, but his job before had been handling consumer complaints.
Now, he was definitely a candidate for a lot of antacid. Can you imagine getting calls all day long from people whose whole thing is to tell you what they didn't like? He's in ministry now, so Ken deals with a lot of people's burdens, but it's a whole lot better stress than that old job was. How would you be able to listen to people dump on you for eight hours a day? It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it, and somebody wants to.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Place to Complain."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 142. David says, "I cry aloud to the Lord." Sure sounds like he's hurting. "I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him. Before Him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is You who knows my way." That's a very interesting portrayal of where our complaints ought to go. God's Throne Room - that's where you ought to take your complaints. David said, "I pour out my complaint to Him. It's before the Lord I tell my trouble." "He's the One where I, in a sense, dump all of this hurt, and anger, and frustration."
Of course, we have a tendency to take our complaints other places, don't we? We complain to our friends, we complain about the other guy to everybody else except the guy, we complain to our family, we complain to our co-workers, and the only thing we accomplish is we get to drag them down with us. They were feeling great until we came along. And then, all of a sudden, this big, dark cloud came in with us. We start them thinking negatively about it too. And we sound like squeaky chalk.
Well, the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 3:15, as believers, to "be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us." A lot of folks can't hear our hope because they hear more about our hassles. Listen to yourself. Step outside of yourself and just try to listen. Are you becoming a complainer? God doesn't say, "Don't complain." That would be denying the pain; denying your real feelings. He invites us to complain all over Him. He's the One who can do something about it.
David said, "It is You who know my way." You know, that's why people bypass the complaint department sometimes and go right to the president. They say, "Hey, I want action! So forget the complaint guy; I'm going straight to the top!" Well, that's actually the place to go. Sometimes it's appropriate to go to an offending person and confront them in order to seek healing. And, of course, it's appropriate to share our burden with other people and ask them to pray for us. But first, dump all your garbage at your Lord's feet. Go to the top! Get the emotions out before Him. Get some objectivity, some perspective that comes from being in God's presence with all that stuff.
The Throne Room of God is the complaint department of the universe. So, let God deal with your complaints. You won't get action by complaining to all the employees. Skip them and go straight to the top.