Do you have the perfect friend, the perfect spouse, or the perfect child? Do any of your coworkers get on your nerves? Is your church perfect? How about your house? Are you fed up with the heat, or the cold, or the rain? Are you tired of the same old same old? Life is filled with a lot of things that are not the way we’d like them to be, and it’s easy to see what’s wrong with another person or situations we find ourselves in. Our natural minds tend to focus on the negative and find fault. Nobody wants to be labeled a faultfinder or to be around one, but how do you keep from venting and complaining about what irritates and frustrates you?
After the people of Israel had been freed from slavery in Egypt, they almost immediately started finding fault and complaining about their conditions in the wilderness. They complained that they were tired of the same food that God provided supernaturally for them every single day. They grumbled, “We never see anything but this manna!” (Numbers 11:6). They complained about the lack of water. They complained about their leaders, Moses and Aaron. They complained that the land God promised to give them was filled with giants and fortified cities.
God is taking all of us somewhere, and like the people of Israel, we have everything we need right now to get to where He’s taking us. But that’s where the Israelites missed it. They were only looking at their circumstances and what they didn’t have. They failed to look to their God. It’s so easy to look at problems through natural eyes rather than through eyes of faith that behold the hand of God working behind the scenes, the Almighty God who’s providing for all our needs.
Today, you’re going to have many opportunities to find fault. You can’t stop all the negative thoughts you have about people and situations, but you can stop giving those thoughts life by speaking them out. You can watch what you say by stepping back and reminding yourself that complaining only finds the worst in situations and other people and never the best, and that speaking them out only makes things worse. Don’t give it life. Don’t ruin relationships and situations.
So what should you do? The apostle Paul says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). Let’s zip up the complaints, stay the course, and be grateful to God. Let’s not be faultfinders. Let’s be those who “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).