Complaining and Thinking

Last night’s sermon was on Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing.  It was convicting and enlightening for me.  I’ve been low-energy and “bored” for a minute, and I haven’t been able to figure out why.  (I do love a good convicting sermon).

Some of the reason is the place I’m in right now – I’m doing a lot of process, and haven’t gotten to the result.  That can be wearing.

The other bit comes down to forgetting to stop and look around myself and see what’s here, and be thankful for it.  (Very helpful point: to stop complaining, start thanking).  I have produced change in life.  God has changed things in my life.  When am I going to sit down and appreciate where I am?  Um.

There’s the rub.  I’m so future oriented that I forget to just look around me.  I can’t celebrate my accomplishments or God’s grace in any but the most general of ways.  Like, I’m feeling frustrated that I haven’t got more sewing done – and I was hanging something up in the closet and looked… my husband has a whole row of shirts, made by my hands.   My daughter has a beautiful dress that I completed not two weeks ago.  And all *I* see is the clothing in my head that hasn’t appeared yet.

I constantly beat myself up about the things I haven’t done perfectly or haven’t done yet, and I just won’t look around and see what I got done.   This pattern of discontentment seeps into my prayer life, as there are always things to be prayed over… and I wonder, “when is God going to change this thing?”  I focus SO HARD on the things that aren’t “perfect” that I forget to enjoy the good stuff.

And there’s a lot of good stuff.  Even my crazy future-oriented “must change all the things” tendency has some benefits – I accomplish things.   I could be appreciative of that… I don’t have to beat myself up about everything!  Concept.

I guess the sermon and this note are timely, it being the week before Thanksgiving.

And now I have more things to work on…

I Timothy 6:6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.

 

6 thoughts on “Complaining and Thinking

      1. Maea

        I constantly beat myself up about the things I haven’t done perfectly or haven’t done yet, and I just won’t look around and see what I got done.

        I thought of the parable when I read this statement. In my understanding, the parable is telling us we shouldn’t squander our gifts, and be good stewards with the resources we have and the time we’re given. I think when we obsess too much over what hasn’t been done or what wasn’t perfect, we’re not taking the time to appreciate what we have now or going out of our comfort zone to use our gifts in service of God.

        I’m a perfectionist myself, and it’s hard for me to let things go when I know they’re good the first time. But focusing too much on making things perfect takes time away from doing more.

      2. hearthie Post author

        Interesting. I get psycho because I worry about not using every shred of every gift I have and continually pouring out, so this, “perfect, we’re not taking the time to appreciate what we have now or going out of our comfort zone to use our gifts in service of God.” is a good perspective for me.

      3. elspeth

        This is, I think, the difference between believing that He is working things out in us according to His good pleasure (whatever that looks like but it is almost certain not what we think), and taking these matters into our own hands because we aren’t good enough or are wasting our talents if we don’t get it all done now.

        But there’s more to the story than productivity. There is the journey, the growing, the being.

        CYE later. I need you to lend me your ear.

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