An old man goes to the same diner every day for lunch. He always orders the soup of the day which comes with two slices of bread. One day the manager asks him how
he liked his meal and the old man replies, "It was OK, but you could give a little more bread."
The next day, the manager instructs the waitress to give him four slices of bread and then asks how his meal was. "It was OK, but you could give a little more bread."
The following day the manager sends him six slices of bread, but the man’s response was the same. Next day, eight slices, but the same reply, "It was OK, but you could give a little more bread."
Obsessed with trying to satisfy this customer, the manager orders a six-foot-long loaf of bread. He has it cut in half and each half placed on either side of the old man’s soup bowl. Picture two three-foot-long pieces of bread. The old man devours it all and, when asked how his meal was, replied, "It was OK, but I see you’re back to giving just two slices of bread.”
Some people seem to never be satisfied. Sometimes, I’m one of them. The hardest command from God for me to obey is probably, “Do everything without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:14). I complain too much. I guess, even now, I’m complaining to you about that.
What’s so bad about complaining? What does it hurt? First, it hurts me when I complain. It poisons my soul and robs me of happiness. It’s not coincidental that Paul’s warning about complaining comes in a letter about “the secret of being content” (Philippians 4:12).
Complaining also hurts others. My complaining drags you down and tempts you to join in. We can’t “shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:15) if our hearts are darkened by negative thoughts.
Most importantly, complaining hurts God. It’s his creation I insult if I complain about the rain. When the Israelites complained because there wasn’t enough food, God sent food falling from heaven. When they then complained because there weren’t more menu choices, God was angry. He sent a plague to kill many of them.
Don’t complain. Sometimes it rains for days. Be thankful; rain helps keep us alive. Sometimes, inflation is high and prices go up. Be thankful; there is still bread on the table – and sometimes even a bowl of soup!