Would You Like Some Cheese With That Whine?
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23
UGH! I couldn’t stand myself. I heard my whiney words and couldn’t stop them from spewing out of my mouth. Anybody who would listen got a taste of some nasty, stale, ungodly whine. Poor souls.
The event is less than a month away and I’m working it like it needs to be worked – putting out the information to my web of connections, calling on churches, and praying for big numbers. All of this while I was hooked on my whine.
The only thing I wasn’t doing on a regular basis was trusting God to bring the women to the event.
The one thing I did do on a regular basis was wonder out loud if I was enough to bring people in, if I can connect with mothers while I am childless, if fewer women than my goal attend would that affect my reputation. In short, I whined incessantly.
It became a habit that began to spiral out of control. And I couldn’t stop it.
As I was whining yet again about how much work I was doing and how little response I was getting, I heard words from a most beloved source that stopped my whining…and turned it into anger.
My wonderful husband who is as long-suffering as he is loving said, “You are making yourself too big in all of this.”
Ouch!! I was so angry I almost hung up on him.
I was angry because he was right. He nailed me and it stung. But it also woke me up.
I was making myself too big. In God’s economy numbers of people in attendance don’t matter. It’s who is supposed to be there. My reputation is based nothing on the world’s standards, but on God. If I do what He has asked me to do and show up, God will take care of my reputation.
God’s opinion is the only one that matters. He asks us if we’re willing to go. He doesn’t ask us to predict the finish; He asks us to take the next step. He wants willing people who can be humbled to His plan.
I thought I was being humble in thinking that I wasn’t enough, but by focusing on my own short-comings and measuring success by who comes to see me, I was in fact prideful. This is not about me. It’s about God. It’s about who responds to God’s message of love. It’s about showing up and doing my best for God’s kingdom.
It is not about us. It’s about God. It’s about the people in our lives who need Jesus desperately. It’s about daring to speak a word of truth with someone when the Spirit nudges us. It’s about loving others in the name of Jesus and trusting that God will water and harvest the seeds that we sow.
Whining is a nasty habit that the enemy loves to make a daily ritual. Whining takes the focus off of Jesus and others and turns it directly onto our weaknesses. And that’s where Satan wants our focus. When we take our eyes off of Jesus the glare of our imperfections blinds us from the truth.
And the truth is we are ineffective without Jesus. Without Him, we can’t love our enemies and even sometimes our friends. Without Jesus, we don’t have the strength to carry on when the numbers don’t line up and the walls seem to be closing in. Without Jesus, we are nothing.
But when we focus on Him and align our lives with His teachings we can accomplish abundantly more than we could ever think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
With man, things seem impossible, but with God anything is possible.
So, with the words of my wonderful husband firmly planted in my head and with the promises of God nestled warmly in my heart, I gladly put down the whine.
Will I be tempted? Probably. But my prayer is that I will recognize my propensity to whine well before it morphs into an addiction.