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Tag Archives: complaining

Wasted Breaths

Recently, I have noticed an unpleasant change in my life.  Whenever I find myself in a no win situation, complaining consumes my vocabulary.  While venting frustrations may feel good initially, I came to the conclusion I was wasting my breath.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, Philippians 2:14.

While there is nothing wrong with expressing disagreements, the Bible seeks to resolve and improve situations.  Grumbling or questioning others doesn’t help.  Rather, if I only can find a common ground, perhaps I won’t waste my breath anymore.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you, 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

In a letter addressing a community known for hostility, Paul encourages people to give thanks in all circumstances.  Thinking every thing in life will go your way in life is unrealistic; some sort of pipe dream, but the opposite is true.  In view of this, the next time you have the urge to explode in the form of wasted breaths, may God bring these verses to memory to avoid saying something you might regret.

by Jay Mankus

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The Joseph Parallel

The logical individual thinks life should be a series of straight lines from point A to point B and so on.  While everyone may experience progress and natural progressions at times, life is full of detours, road blocks and phases of construction.  Therefore, the next time you find yourself in a period of transition, remember the Joseph parallel.

And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph of his coat, the coat of many colors that was on him; and they took him, and cast him into the pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it, Genesis 37:23-24.

Joseph son of Jacob, had high expectations, receiving dreams and visions of the life God intended.  However, envy, jealousy and pride led Joseph down a path of disappointment.  Despite a series of heartbreaks, Joseph remained optimistic, leading to favor from God and man.  Apparently, Joseph didn’t care how long it took to fulfill God’s will.  Rather, Joseph kept plugging away at life until God opened doors that he was ready to walk through.

And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.  But Jehovah was with Joseph, and showed kindness unto him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison, Genesis 39:20-21.

As I look at my own life, its not that different from Joseph.  However, when I experience trials I spent too much questioning God instead of making the best of each situation.  Subsequently, I have wasted countless days, weeks and years complaining instead of currying God’s favor.  In view of Joseph’s parallel, I need to be transformed, embracing hardships like James 1:2-4.  Although the Lord is waiting to bless his children, too many are having pity parties instead of taking God’s hand in faith.  May the Joseph parallel broaden your perspective and inspire you to keep serving the Lord until you reach your final destination.

by Jay Mankus

When God Turns Out the Lights

Always is one of those words that is regularly spoken, yet rarely applied.  Similarly, patience is a trait people know they need, but refuse to pray for it.  Consistent, unfailing and unconditional are terms that characterize God’s love.  However, when God turns out the lights during a trial, many respond with complaining, doubt and frustration.

On the other hand, the last thing individuals who experience death, gloom or tragedy need to hear is their loss is all part of God’s will.  While answers might be provided over the course of time, broken and wounded hearts need time to sort through the pain inside.  Yet, when God does turn out the lights, always is a good place to start.

According to the author of Psalm 105, when you don’t have the energy to press on with life, look toward the Lord for strength, verse 4.  However, this isn’t something you can do occasionally.  Rather, the Psalmist urges his audience to always seek God’s face.  If you want answers, sometimes or most of the time doesn’t cut it.  Therefore, the next time God turns out the lights, illuminate this darkness with faith ignited by God’s Word, Psalm 119:105.

by Jay Mankus

 

Another Hypocrite Behind the Driver’s Seat

When I get behind the wheel of my car, something happens to me.  Like an out of body experience, a spirit of impatience changes my personality inside.  All it takes is a few slow drivers, especially in the left hand lane and I become another hypocrite behind the driver’s seat.

Despite my prayers prior to entering my vehicle, the influences of the sinful nature leave my feeling like the apostle Paul in Romans 7:15.  The slightest error made by my fellow drivers erupts into an explosion of complaining, emotional distress and an occasional honk of the horn.  In my quest to fulfill Matthew 5:48, most trips behind the steering wheel often result in conviction, a painful reminder that I have a long way to go, Romans 3:23.

The imagery of 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 illustrates the fact that everyone has room for improvement.  Each soul has major flaws, needing to be transformed from a child into a mature Bible believing adult, Romans 12:1-2.  Unfortunately, there will always be growing pains and along the way, don’t be surprised if you see another hypocrite behind the driver’s seat.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Shopping Test: Who is Naughty and Nice ?

If you go to the grocery store or shopping mall, you will likely be tested to see just how patient you are.  Finding a parking spot can be an adventure as oblivious individuals will walk in front of you car, others rush to get the last close spot and the lazy leave shopping carts in parking spaces to make your blood boil.  When you finally locate a cart, trash is often left in the bottom, filled with expired coupons.

As you make your way into the entrance, speeds vary, like a Nascar race going 4 wide into a corner.  However, the fast lane isn’t always the left, requiring zig zag maneuvers to navigate your way to finish your check list.  Non planners talk on the phone the whole time, stopping right in front of you without warning.  Meanwhile, the carefree window shoppers, seem to block your intended route every other aisle.  Courtesy separates the naughty from the nice, in a hurry to get to no where, as the self absorbed carry on, going as fast as possible.

Today, I failed the shopping test, bickering, complaining and talking to myself the whole time.  My idea of shopping is like a quick splash and go on pit lane, trying to stay out in front of the crowds.  Instead of enjoying the journey, impatience has made by grumpy, frustrated by a lack of urgency demonstrate by my fellow shoppers.  On my way out to the car, the Holy Spirit convicted me of Philippians 2:14-15.  Although I didn’t directly voice my beefs, I was naughty, not shinning the light of Christ as God calls, Matthew 5:13-16.  See where your patience falls on the Shopping Test Scale.

Level                                                                                     Attributes                                                                                      Meter

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

1                                                                                              Calm & Relaxed                                                                           Pleasant

2                                                                                              Sarcastic & Slightly Irritated                                                 Okay

3                                                                                              Rolling your Eyes / Frustrated                                             Selfish

4                                                                                              Gossiping / Grumbling                                                             Angry

5                                                                                              Ignorant / Rude                                                                          Naughty

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Where do you fall on the scale? Any thoughts on how to become more patient?

 

by Jay Mankus

Blocking Yourself

On November 26th, 2013 something unusual was caught on film during an NCAA college football game between the University of Florida and Georgia Southern.  If it wasn’t bad enough losing to a I-AA football team, a replay revealed 2 Gator offensive lineman were actually blocking each other as if their eyes were closed on one play.  When the national media got a hold of this clip, these 2 players were further embarrassed, weekly making ESPN’s Not Top 10 low lights.  Blocking yourself or in this case you own teammate ranks up their with Mark Sanchez’s butt fumble, returned by the New England Patriots for a touchdown during the 2012 NFL regular season, a legendary not top 10 moment in sports.

In basketball, players are allowed to set picks, also known as screens to help others get open.  As long as an individual has set their feet without moving, the play is legal.  However, when someone get’s careless or sloppy with their body position, the play is deemed illegal as a foul is called resulting in a turnover or foul shots.  Unfortunately, life is filled with examples of blocking yourself.  The loud mouth often talks too much, ruining their reputation with uncalled for remarks.  The gossiper can’t resist the temptation of distorting the truth, caught up in a web of lies that will one day explode in their face.  Meanwhile, negative people will lose favor among co-workers, family and neighbors limiting their full potential on earth.

From a spiritual perspective, Christians and non-Christians alike regularly block God from pouring out his blessings.  According to Jesus’ earthly brother, complaining, grumbling and impatience serve as a barrier between God and mankind, James 5:8-9.  Furthermore, any unwholesome comment that comes out of your mouth grieves the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 4:29.  Instead of blaming God for your misfortune, get out of the way or you will continue blocking yourself from obtaining God’s promises in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:10.  Although its hard to admit, often I’m my worst enemy, getting in the Holy Spirit’s way with self conceit, Galatians 5:25-26.  May this blog inspire you to reflect, pondering if anything is causing you to block yourself from God?  Whenever something comes to mind, please leave a comment below to help others in life’s journey.

by Jay Mankus

       

My Pain is Christ’s Gain

I am not the first to ask why God allows bad things to happen.  Nor will I be the last to demand a response.  However, after one month of complaining, groaning and frustration, I sensed the Holy Spirit whisper to me yesterday, “my pain is Christ’s gain.”

As a former professional athlete, I’ve always been able to rely on my God given talents, to work harder than the next person, regularly experiencing success.  Yet, when your ability to breathe, lift more than 5 pounds and walk is taken away, you become helpless.  Thus, I was placed into a situation where I was vulnerable, forced to depend on Christ’s strength, 2 Corinthians 12:9, to ease my pain.

T-Shirt companies have created similar themes in the past, using God’s Gym instead of Gold’s Gym.  On the back, Jesus is doing a push up with the weight of the world, the cross on his back.  Nonetheless, a conversation on my first day back at work revealed the true reason for my accident.  One of my co-workers was encouraged by posts updating my progress.  Subsequently, without my fall, I wouldn’t have had the material to cover these topics.  Thus, in the end, God allowed my injury, 2 broken ribs, a lacerated liver and internal bleeding to occur so that my pain was Christ’s gain for eternity.

by Jay Mankus

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