The American business culture has been built on the idea of customer service. Perhaps you have even been taught that “the customer is always right”. What has that done to the average American’s sense of self-centeredness?

If we don’t get our way, the way we want it, when we want it, we complain, and we ask to speak to the manager. We expect them to quickly capitulate to our demands, and fix their “problem”. If they don’t respond that way, we promise never to return, tell all our friends, and take our money “elsewhere”.

Unfortunately, this mentality is the opposite of what God’s Word tells us regarding how we are to behave as believers…

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” ~ Philippians 2:14–16

How can you shine as lights in the world, if you are too busy whining about everything that doesn’t meet your expectations? As Americans, we are blessed to have food on our tables, a safe place to sleep, shoes on our feet, and freedom to worship God as we please.

Is the crooked world we live in, twisting us Christians, or are we letting the Lord straighten us out? We are told in the New Testament, that we are to shine as lights, for the cause of Christ.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:16

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:4

It’s so easy to get in the flesh, and start complaining, when something rubs us the wrong way, but the Word of God should straighten us out. Someone said, “if the Word of God rubs you the wrong way, turn around”.

This customer-centered mentality has even found it’s way into churches, which are supposed to be Christ-Centered! Then pastors are pressured into doing what’s popular, instead of what’s Christ honoring. Then the church members are empowered to complain more in order to get their way – as if the church is a democracy, it’s not. Perhaps we would do well to remember how God dealt with Israel in the wilderness, due to their discontent and complaining against God, to Moses.

So how should we respond to that? How should we react when we are confronted with our self-centered and prideful expectations – we should die to self, and live for Christ! Right?!?

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” ~   Galatians 2:20

So, let me encourage you to – Stop Whining and Start Shining (I say that with love…)

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by Daren T. Dilts

Pastor, Mountain View Baptist Church

Hesperia, CA