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Complain? Do this too"
May 15, 2024

May 15, 2024
Issue 218

Like to complain? Do this too!

Do you like to complain? Sure! So do I.

Noncomplaining people are so rare I can count the ones I know on one hand. And none of them are single. Coincidence? Maybe not.

After decades and decades of griping, I know one thing for certain. Complaining alone rarely changes things. You have to combine it with action, and there's the problem. Talking? Easy. Doing? Not so much.

While whining with our friends may have a certain therapeutic effect, nothing really gets better until we put some deeds behind our screeds. Here's an amazing truth: God wants to make you over. It's called sanctification.

If you're a Christian, the Holy Spirit wants to produce the fruit of the Spirit in you: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) The more of those qualities you have, the less complaining you'll do. I know, right?

Let's see what God wants for those of us who like to complain.

Life's most pure reward

A king sat on his golden throne
and raised his golden cup.
"My life is marked by emptiness.
I need to fill it up."

He roamed his kingdom far and wide
then where the river flowed,
he saw a lonely beggar
limping slowly by the road.

His clothes were old and ragged,
but a smile adorned his face.
And even as he limped along
he showed a quiet grace.

"Beggar! Come thee over here,"
the king called with a shout.
"What does such a fool as you
presume to smile about?"

The beggar bowed with dignity
as he addressed the king.
"Blessed tidings to your Majesty.
What service may I bring?"

"I want to know what pleases you
when worry fills my land.
Now make you haste to answer me
and heed your king's demand."

"I walk throughout your kingdom, sire,
in awe of all I see.
I have no place to lay my head
but thank God I am fr'ee.

"Your subjects toil like tiny ants
to fill their homes with stuff.
They worship all the things they own
and never get enough.

"But I have learned across the years
that life's most pure reward
comes from trying every day
to love and serve the Lord."

The king sat on his golden throne
but did not change his ways.
And emptiness consumed his life
for his remaining days.

~ Jack Zavada,, 2024 ~

Disappointed with your life?

You're in good company. If you want to hear some Olympic-class complaining, read the book of Psalms. Those folks were disappointed with their lives too.

So why is Psalms in the Bible? Not because we like to hear other folks complaining. No, it's there to show us the answer to our problems is found in God. Not in stuff and not in striving.

Hope for Hurting Singles addresses single people's complaints and shows you how to invite God into your life in a powerful way. It reminds you Jesus is the purpose of your existence, and when you surrender to him, you begin to change.

But why Hope for Hurting Singles? It's a practical guide to living by Christian principles. It breaks down everyday problems like loneliness, depression, and worry and shows how to meet God in the midst of them.

Hope for Hurting Singles is based on 40 years of seeking God's answers. It's not the story of my life. It's a manual of what works and what doesn't. It alerts you to dead ends and points you to the wisest paths.

If you're disappointed with your life, Hope for Hurting Singles can start to turn things around. Its Bible-based common sense will show you solutions you've never considered. Real world. Real truth. Hope that's found in a real God.

Hope for Hurting Singles is $10.99 in paperback and $3.99 for the Kindle version.

QOTM: Wisdom from…Groucho?

May's Quote of the Month comes from comedian, writer, actor, and all-around witty guy, Julius Henry Marx, commonly known as Groucho:

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.”

~ Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977) ~

Our choice of how to respond to adversity—or even those everyday irritations—determines our happiness. As I pointed out in the April issue of Inspire-O-Gram, our inner world is something we can control.

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, in his landmark book, Man's Search for Meaning, observed that the people who walked out of the Nazi concentration camps obstinately maintained a hopeful attitude. They looked forward to the day they would be freed.

Toughness has nothing to do with physical strength. You can be a mighty man or woman by refusing to let circumstances control your happiness. You can choose to have a great day.

Face the day with this reassuring truth

Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning can be a major accomplishment.

The world can be intimidating, but we have the invincible God on our side. Amazingly, all of us forget that at times. Because we can't always feel God's presence, we forget he's there, but the Bible, God's word of Truth, assures us that's the case.

For the believer, singleness means never being alone, in good times and in bad. Our big challenge is coming to grips with that fact. We're used to a material world, and many of us don't believe something unless we see it with our own eyes.

In his classic little book, The Practice of the Presence of God, the monk Brother Lawrence said, "Remember that God never leaves us unless we go away first." This is a terrific resource and you can obtain it here f/ree..

Explore with me some tips to help you face the day.

God loves honest people

This issue has been all about complaining. The Bible actually takes two views of complaining which seem contradictory.

In the Old Testament, God loses patience with the Israelites' constant grumbling. They quickly forgot the miracles he had performed for them and how he delivered them from slavery in Egypt. In the New Testament, Jesus and Paul encouraged us to pray:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6, NIV).

Did you catch it? There's the difference—thanksgiving. We are to be grateful for the good things God has given us, while humbly asking him to fulfill our needs. That's what the Psalmist did.

God loves honesty. When you're hurting, why cover it up? He knows it anyway. You can pour your heart out to him and not worry about him being offended. What he wants is intimacy with you, and you can't have that if you're hiding things.

God is a kind and loving Father who wants to bless his children. So feel free to complain to him. But at the same time, don't forget to thank him for the good things in your life, and you know there are things to be grateful for.

I don't ask this often…

It's time for you to do me a favor, and it's so easy all it takes is a couple clicks of your mouse.

Would you please forward this newsletter to a single, divorced, or widowed friend or relative? I'm trying to reach as many people with the good news of Jesus as I can.

Inspire-O-Gram has always been—and will always be—f/ree. I try hard every month to make it relevant and uplifting. If you find it helpful, please pass it along.

Thank you!

That concludes the May issue, fellow single. To reach me directly, our contact form reroutes your email directly into my personal inbox. You can write anonymously or include your email address for a reply.

Maybe there's something in this newsletter you'd like to complain about! : )

Until June,

Jack Zavada

PS: Not a Christian? Find out how to become one!

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