In many ways, I am the complaint box for the church. I am the leader, able to create change, therefore folks voice their concerns. Sometimes the negativity is valid – something needs to change. Other times it is just a personal rant, but in those moments I desire to shepherd. I want to guide the person to healing and joy.
It is interesting: complaints, even silly ones with little or no merit, pile on top of one another. I imagine my complaint box without a bottom – each slip just passing through. Yet often complaints get stuck inside. Then one rant piles on another, together they seem to beget more. For me the negativity builds and I find myself complaining about the complainers.
But as I read through the Psalms I realize our negativity also points toward God.
Psalm 67 http://bit.ly/1n6Uofo
Again and again in the Psalms our blessings point to God. This passage’s final verse states that our blessings drive the world to see God. To “fear” in the Bible is not just to be frightened, but to respect His powerful presence. A presence that causes literal “fear” outside of Him – He is BIG – but in His hands… there is hope.
As Christians we put our trust in Christ. He is our Provider. When we rejoice and celebrate His gifts, it is a sign to the world that our God saves!
Yet what does our negativity say? … who would want to join Christ, if He is like every other part of life and leaves us unfulfilled?!
You might argue our negativity is not pointed at God. We always celebrate and rejoice in Him. But how can it be separated? If our words declare we are unsatisfied with the church – with our worship – with our ministers – with the things and place to which He has called us… How can we then turn and declare that God is good? Who outside the church will believe us?