Are you a malcontent?


Are you a malcontent?

I am… Aren’t we all at times in our life?

You know when things don’t go the way you envision, or you really get tired of that one particular kid screaming in service, even though it’s mine…

We all have our moments, right?

If you are a member of a body of believers there are just going to be times when you have complaints. Of course they are legitimate complaints; I wouldn’t think anything else, because mine are also legitimate. Of course your “feelings” matter, and there are even times when you are having a bad day and it’s, even more okay for you to act out, even if it’s only in your mind.

I do it…we all do it right? Sort of a misery loves company thing.

Oh, I know you said it’s legitimate, and I did too, but is it really legit, or is it sin? Yes, I realize the pastor is there for your good pleasure, and he didn’t respond in the way you wanted him too, but really now he does have a job to do doesn’t he? And maybe he takes the shepherding of your soul a little too serious?

…work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.


Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. – Philippians 2:12-16

It looks like Paul had a similar experience in his church? I wonder if he was writing this to me.

Okay, that’s sarcasm; I know you wouldn’t really think I’d be sarcastic.

I could spend some time digging into the Greek words here, but if I read this plainly it just hurts, as I consider the amount of complaining I do. And God just set this up by telling me to work out my salvation, with fear and trembling.

Have you ever had a really scary dream and you shook under the covers because it was so real? I can think of a couple times when I dreamt something had happened to one of my children. I woke up in drop dead fear, weeping and crying. Does Paul mean that kind of fear, that kind of trembling? I didn’t like that dream, and I don’t like that sort of trembling.

Did we remember that Paul also tells us to consider others better than ourselves in Chapter 2 of Philippians? This is pretty tough stuff if we really are to shine as lights as the verse tells us.

Last week I wrote about what is truth, and in writing about today’s topic, we must revisit last week’s reality. If you are a Believer, you don’t have to live out of your fleshly lusts, we have truth.

It means we have to put off our old self. It means we need to deny those fleshly desires, and crucify them. It’s not easy to be a Christian. No wonder Jesus said the path was difficult, it’s a lot easier just to complain about so and so, or the ridiculous new, you name it, that the elders are wanting us to do.

Whew…. I feel better now, how about you?

Brothers and sisters, we are called to strive for the unity of the body, this is not easy to do, because not everyone is as perfect as I am. They don’t all see it the way I see it, and I’m certain my way IS the best way; I’ve certainly proven that over time. (More sarcasm for those that don’t know me)

Ephesians 4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…

I know… If only they conformed to my way of thinking everything would be better, but since I’m not in a church full of Kevin’s I guess I better spend some time with the Lord, repent and seek His forgiveness for my bad attitude.

“IF” I’m one of His… Ouch, that hurts.



Do you despise Him?


The Christian life is no different from most lives in that Believers experience the ups and downs that are typical.  We get sick, we have conflict with our wives or children and we are certainly not free from seemingly random things that occur.  I say seemingly because Scripture tells us nothing is by chance and God has all things under His sovereign control.

I believe this and do not subscribe to health, wealth and prosperity doctrines that are so prevalent today.  The one thing I understand is that God has purpose in everything He does.  For the Believer this has eternal consequences because the way we respond in trials and tribulations is a very significant part of our testimony.

James 1:17-18 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

The old adage “it’s hard to see the forest for the trees” is applicable to the teaching of James, it’s stated very plainly, yet most often in the moment of trials we don’t want to see what God is doing in our lives because we are in pain at that moment.

We don’t consider it a gift when someone we love is sick or we wonder why God would allow this to happen…  What if you are subject to rebuke or church discipline?  Do you really consider God is treating you as a son or daughter?

If life or our circumstance is not as “we think it should be” the natural tendency is to be upset and angry.  Maybe we won’t say we are angry at God, but the fact is we are exhibiting nothing but discontent.

And discontent is sin!  (1 Timothy 6:6-9, Philippians 4:6, Matthew 6:25-34)

The opportunity to glorify God in a time or season of trial is a gift from God.  Believer, do you believe this?  I know we will agree to this when life is going well.  But do you really believe it when you are facing a trial?

James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Let us examine ourselves today.  Do you count it all joy?  Why not, if not?  I hope this is very succinct because I don’t see this as a complicated subject, yet how many that name the name of Christ despise His goodness?

James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 


When Believers and I include myself in this conversation, do not consider trials pure joy we despise the good gift that God has given us.  We have our own idea of an outcome and have no desire to allow God, through patience, to work His perfect work in our lives.

Call it what you want, discontent, frustration, anger, circumstance…  Or call it what it is; distrust in God’s goodness.

I’m thankful for the trial that has recently come into my life, with our daughter Anna.  It has given me an incredible opportunity to learn patience and leadership as I guide my family and my wife through a tough time.  I’m being grown up, so that I can minister to others.  I can’t lead without having been there myself and although in the grand scheme of life’s trials, this is small in comparison.  Each good and perfect gift prepares us for bigger things.

Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 

Let’s consider the purpose of a trial, for some it may lead to repentance, for some condemnation.

How will you respond?  This might show your condition before God.