Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Complaint about Complaining

According to the authors of the book Significa, the world's champion complainer was a man named Ralph Charrel. Charrel received over $100,000 as a result of his systematic complaining. His smallest refund was of $6.95 and his largest was $25,000. Charrel spent time every day making phone call and writing letters of complaint. He even wrote two books, How to Get the Upper Hand and How I Turn Ordinary Complaints into Thousands of Dollars.

While we all have the right to stand up for ourselves, would you want to be known as the "World's Champion Complainer"? I hope not.

The issue of complaining has been around since the beginning of time and it found a special place at a church in Philippi in which Paul addresses the problem. Philipians 2:14-15:

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe..."

Paul makes a distinction between the children of God and the rest of the world. He says they are a "crooked and depraved generation," but we should become blameless and pure. One of the ways we do this is avoiding the temptation of complaining and arguing with each other.

If we choose to be thankful and encouraging instead of complaining; and if we choose to make peace instead of causing division and dissent, the Bible says we will shine like stars in the universe. May we shine for Jesus today.

On the Journey Together,


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let Freedom Ring

Everyone that I know really loves the 4th of July weekend. Whether your deal is traveling, camping, grillin', or taking the boat to the lake or river, we all seem to joyously celebrate it in one way or the other. You know, it is something about the hot summer sun, the fireworks, and good eating that get's us all excited--or is it?
Maybe all of the things we do to celebrate the 4th of July are just results of what we're really excited about. It's possible that burgers and sparklers are simply an outward expression of an inward appreciation. We may not think of it this way, but I believe somewhere in our mind or heart, we all long for freedom. Once our freedom is realized, it excites us; once we're excited, we show and share it.
Liberty Bell.jpg
I hope one day to travel to the Northeast and tour our nation's capitol and surrounding areas. If I'm ever granted the opportunity, I think I will plan to visit the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The history of the bell is astounding, but I'll spare you all of its historic details. I would like to point out, however, a key inscription on the bell. It reads as follows:
"Proclaim Liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof." (Leviticus 25:10)
Forgive the pun, but that inscription "rings a bell." Remember Matthew 28:18? (Hint: "the great commission.") You see, Jesus came to set us free from the penalty of sin. He has freed us from it's bondage and it's punishment (death). Through Christ we have true freedom. Essentially His last words before leaving earth were: "Go to everyone in the world how they can be free!" Go back and read the Liberty Bell inscription once more. How 'bout it?
In closing, my simple challenge is this. First, realize true freedom comes through Christ, and Him alone. Secondly, proclaim that freedom to everyone you can-in Bubba language, that means tell somebody about Jesus.
Celebrating Freedom Together,