Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sacha Whiner

The man went into the restaurant and said, “Do you serve crabs here?”

And the waiter said, “Why, yes sir, we serve anybody here.”

I’ve been around crabs. Haven’t you? These are the people who are constantly complaining about everything. Whiners, we call them. No matter what happens, or how good something might be, the whiners will find something to complain about.

The story is told about a monk who joined a monastery and took a vow of silence. After the first 10 years his superior called him in and asked, “Do you have anything to say?”

The monk replied, “Food bad.”

After another 10 years the monk again had opportunity to voice his thoughts.

He said, “Bed hard.”

Another 10 years went by and again he was called in before his superior. When asked if he had anything to say, he responded, “I quit.”

“It doesn’t surprise me a bit, said his superior. “You’ve done nothing but complain ever since you got here.”

Maybe you’ve met the Whiner family. There’s Ima Whiner. He’s the head of the clan. Born in the objective case and baptized in lemon juice, he’s always grumbling about something. When people see him coming they turn and go the other way rather than being subjected to his "complaint-of-the-day." His wife, Stella Whiner, not only whines, she nags as well. Someone has said that living with a nagger or whiner is akin to being nibbled to death by a duck. Ima and Stella also have a son, Sacha Whiner. He, bless his little heart, has the whining genes from both sides of the family. He also has few friends. Duh! Who wants to be around someone who is always arguing or complaining? Most of us want to tell such people, "Build a bridge and get over it!" Or our reaction is like the old Bob Dylan song:

I wish that for just one day you could stand in my shoes.
Then you’d know what a drag it is to be with you.

Whining is nothing new. Apparently there were members of the Philippian church who liked to grumble or whine on occasion. Imagine that – whiners all the way back in the first century.
The Apostle Paul addressed this negative attitude when he admonished his friends in Philippi to “do everything without complaining or arguing.” (Philippians 2:14) He was concerned about their ability to relate to one another in genuine love, and their ability to relate the love of Jesus to those around them.
This reminder from Paul to the Philippians applies to you and me as well. The world watches how we live. Your roommate, suitemate, classmates, workmates….all your "mates" are watching how you live – especially how you react to difficulty. You have a choice. You can shine like a star, as Paul states in verse 15 of Philippians 2, or you can be a dark cloud. I like the slogan one of our secretaries has posted in her office. You can be humbly grateful or grumbly hateful.

You and I both know that life can be hard. It is sometimes tough to live a life of faith and to be positive even in adversity. It helps to be reminded that God will help us. Submit yourself to him and let him work out his purposes in your life. As you yield yourself to him daily you will become increasingly winsome and warm. Then others will want to be around you. On the other hand, if you’re a whiner, don’t expect many friends.

How you live is up to you. What will it be: grumbly or grateful?

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