Tuesday, October 20, 2009
It Feels So Good to Gripe!
It feels so good to complain! To have someone empathize with you...for someone who understands the pain and frustration...for someone who can nod in agreement and look amazed at the suffering you've endured. I'm reading Paul's letter to the Colossians and I am noticing how frequently, and passionately, Paul complains. But, in contrast to my complaining, Paul manages to make his griping holy and victorious. How does Paul get away with it? He almost brags about his suffering, but the way he does it, griping glorifies God and encourages his readers.
PAUL SUFFERED (and griped about it!)
PAUL REJOICED (continually!)
WE CAN REJOICE (believe it!)
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church..." (Colossians 1:24)
The important difference between Paul and me is that Paul connected his suffering with his service to Jesus. My natural focus tends to be on what I'm feeling, rather than why I'm doing what I'm doing. I imagine Paul saying to me, "Turn your gripes can into glorifying!"