Have you ever caught yourself being so completely selfish that you feel embarrassed for yourself? I think a lot of us like to believe that we are very selfless human beings; we choose to serve day in and day out, we work hard, and we will usually stop if we see someone in need. Our behavior at home might reveal more of a heart issue, however. It’s fairly easy to be others-oriented when those OTHERS are around us, watching, but what about when we’re at home with our family and something has gone just a little wrong.
Let me use myself as a perfect example of this: after 10 years of marriage, my husband and I decided to buy a new mattress. (There were two perfectly shaped human divots on each side of the mattress: both of our spines were begging for mercy). Fine, great, we bought a new mattress- praising God for the ability to do so. Then, after about a month, we found an amazing deal on a mattress topper to go with it and seeing as how I need a very soft mattress for some personal neck issues, we went for it! This in and of itself was not the issue. After all, purchasing things for the home is only a problem when we neglect the needs of others in order to satisfy our own cravings. The PROBLEM was the fact that once this topper was ordered online and shipped to our home, it arrived in a beat up box, poorly wrapped, appearing used, AND it was the wrong daggum thing- didn’t even fit the bed. GASP, I know, it’s the end of the world right?
I am all for people doing their jobs to the best of their ability: if you are responsible for certain things in your line of work, then you should try your hardest to do the job right- with a smile on your face. I also believe that you can (respectfully) state your case when you have been wronged or something has gone amiss. However, both my husband and I were very indignant and disappointed that we would now have to wait even longer for something that someone else messed up on plus the fact that we got the short end of the stick on something we were expecting to be great!
Then, it hit us… we were seriously upset and complaining about the fact that we were going to have to wait an additional week for our mattress to be as soft as we personally want it. Wow. Fixing a problem is one thing, being emotionally caught up in not getting something EXACTLY the way you want it the first time… that’s just childish and it’s embarrassing. How dare we think ourselves so important that we have a right to complain about something so trivial?
I do not mean to sound dismal but let’s think about this for a second (because I know for a fact that each and every one of you- if you’re honest- has your own “mattress” story). There are people who have lost loved ones this year, who are struggling with health issues, who cannot afford new toys for their children, or who have lost faith in Christ because they never really understood who He was/is to begin with.
I know that we can all logically agree with the fact that we complain too much, should be more grateful, are really very blessed, yaddah yaddah… but how many of us actually LIVE by that understanding?! I don’t; at least not as often as I should. There are tons of times when we know something with our “head-knowledge” but keep it far from our heart and spirit. I’m not saying we should allow people to walk all over us when we purchase things or invest ourselves in certain situations, but we should always conduct ourselves in a Christ-like manner (even when no one is watching). Christ is gentle, kind, loving, long-suffering (eek), and tells us to be grateful in ALL things… even the things we’re not so happy about.
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is Godâ€™s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
We complain when we feel like we deserve something. I’m going to whisper something to your heart that I have to constantly remind myself of: lean closely, you need to hear this: WE DON’T DESERVE ANYTHING!!! Our next breath is undeserved and a precious gift from God! Let’s not expect things in this life to always go peachy for us- it didn’t for Jesus, what makes us think we’re more deserving?
Let’s remember to be on the lookout for those around us who may need an extra touch of kindness or help. My prayer for each of us is that we are too ashamed to complain… realizing how much we have and how little we actually deserve.
Lord Jesus, please forgive me for the countless times that I’ve forgotten to be thankful and instead believed that I deserve everything I want in this life. Forgive me for overlooking others in need, in favor of my own selfish desires. Create in me a pure heart Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me- help me, everyday, to be thankful in ALL things and look for your grace in every breath. I love You, Abba. In Jesus’ name- Amen.