Thursday, September 21, 2017

I'm Sick of Not Getting What I Want

"That's not a grateful heart," I chastised my pre-teen daughter.

We had been on the road for 4 days (we moved this week from Florida to Colorado). She was complaining about a meal we ordered at a restaurant. But as the words left my mouth, I knew I was a hypocrite.

I ate crow and apologized, admitting I was the one who taught her this habit of complaining.

I'm not sure what my deal is lately, but I'm a jerk, and it's spreading to others. How often my mouth flies open, grumbling about poor customer service, someone's driving ability or how impolite someone was. It's become an awful habit that not only reveals how ungrateful I am but brings to light the deeper issue--pride. 

Do I think I'm better than the person or company I'm complaining about? Is it considered entitlement if I'm a paying customer and just want to get my money's worth? I'm sick of not getting what I want. I deserve to get what I want if I paid for it, right? 

But as I said earlier, that's not the issue here. The issue is sin in my heart.

Whether my complaint is valid or not, I'm teaching my kids to expect perfection from others and to grumble when things don't go their way.  

In the Bible, Paul tells us "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. " Philippians 2:14-16

These last few days I've been keenly aware of how grossly unthankful I am. I've been blaming it on the stress of a hurricane, selling a house and traveling across the country crammed into a minivan. Truth is, if my heart was right, my attitude and my tongue would show it.

When we are under pressure, whatever is in our heart comes out. Gratefulness or grumbling.
And apparently, it's catchy. 

As a parent, being a good example for our kids is hard, especially when I'm not letting the Holy Spirit lead me. 

How about you? Which of your shortcomings have you seen mirrored in your kids? What advice do you have for us guys?