I know someone who complains about their aches and pains on a daily basis.
I know someone who complains about their job and frankly, I cannot remember ever hearing them talk positively about their employer or fellow employees.
I know someone who complains about the right.
I know someone who complains about the left.
I know someone who complains about their children.
I know someone who is very critical of the President and cannot say anything nice about President or Mrs. Obama at all.
I know someone who is very critical about church and compares it to other churches that represent their worship format better.
I know someone who is critical of kids today, and the millennials, and anyone younger than them.
I know someones who spread the negativity disease about bills, about not having enough money, about their rotten neighbors, about healthcare, about the order they placed, about customer service, about unwanted solicitors at the door and on the phone, about their team, about their parents, about their family in general, about having to work, about disappointments, about stepping in dog poop.
Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. – Colossians 3:12 (CEB)
Yesterday was the 3rd in a three week series of sermons about 21 questions we should ask ourselves in order to sharpen our walk with Christ, based on John Wesley’s questions posed to a small group devoted to studying and learning. Our pastor focused on the question,
“Do I thank God that I am not like others?”
He used the passage of scripture from Luke 18 and tied it to Colossians 3:12 and 1 Corinthians 13.
He told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: ‘Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’
“Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.’”
Jesus commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face, but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.” – Luke 18:9-14 (The Message)
As Adam spoke, my humanness immediately began assessing who in my life needed to hear this message – me, the grateful one so in tune with positive words and focus, unconsciously and inwardly looking down my nose at others and determining who in my life had a critical spirit and complaining attitude. Glass half empties, Negative Nellies, self-righteous Pharisees…
Conviction set in.
I know someone in need of forgiveness.
I know someone in need of God’s grace.
I know someone in need of a heavy dose of reality check and “heart” medicine.
I know someone who was very convicted and is in need of an attitude adjustment.
I know someone who tries to count every.last.thing. but has fallen short time and time again.
I know someone.
So, for yesterday’s message just for that someone, that someone is very grateful.