I’ve been grumbling way too much lately. Whining. Complaining. I hadn’t even realized that I’d gotten into the habit until my long-suffering husband pointed it out. And when he did, I didn’t exactly feel a rush of appreciation—“Gee honey, you’re right, thank you so much for telling me that I’ve been a grouch.” Instead, I retreated to my wife-cave (hey, if men can have caves, why not women?) and sulked. I even complained to God about Pete’s remarks! Then, gently but firmly, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to what I’d been doing. Sheesh. How embarrassing.
In the Evangelical Hierarchy of Sins, complaining isn’t the worst offense. In fact, I doubt we’d put it in the top ten. But God has a different perspective.
I recently pulled up behind a car with a bumper sticker that read “Stop Global Whining.”
As I laughed (it was the first one I’d seen) and craned my neck to see what the driver looked like, I thought about that phrase. Of course, there’s the intended double entendre with global warming. But aside from that, I think the sticker writer has a point. The world seems to be engaged in a major case of the “whines.”
As sophisticated adults, we don’t sound like three-year-olds when we whine. We’ve managed to lose that irritating intonation that drives parents of young children up the wall. But listen to the words, and we aren’t disguising it very well. Admit it. Adults whine.
Of course, there’s plenty to whine about. The world isn’t perfect, and it won’t be until Jesus comes back and makes us a shiny new one. Politics alone provides plenty of fodder. Add in the weather, and you’ll never run out of material.
We mostly tend to gripe about things we can’t control… not only the weather and the actions of elected officials we didn’t vote for (or those we did), but anything we perceive to be beyond our influence. The boss is annoying, our spouse is never home, the professor is unreasonable… I’m sure you can come up with your own list. We whine instead of trying to do something useful about the situation.
Whining may be annoying, but it’s pretty harmless, right? Right?
Well, what does God say about it?