During my first (of five) knee replacement surgeries, I had a period when I was awake and aware of what was going on around me. I heard the saw, felt the hammer and I distinctly remember hearing the surgeon remarking to his assistant, “Yep, that’s about right.”
About right? You can imagine the discussion I had in my head during the rest of the surgery! Truthfully, we aren’t supposed to be awake and interacting with the process. In fact, they specifically give you medication to make sure you forget what goes on.
A loss of memory is called amnesia, and it might be caused by some brain damage, psychological trauma or induced by medication. Our problem is that we often suffer from spiritual amnesia and it is self-induced.
You can quickly spot a bad case of this spiritual disease by observing the conversation between two Christians. What are they focused on? How much grumbling is going on?
Phil. 2:14 tells us to do all things without grumbling or complaining (or arguing). That Greek word for complaining literally means to carry on a dialogue. Sometimes when we grumble, we do it in our own mind. The dialogue is pretty one sided. And other times, we involve others and dialogue with our mouth.
In either case, we have caught a bad case of spiritual amnesia. And the root of that disease is a lack of confidence in our Savior. We (at least temporarily) don’t trust Him. We don’t like what’s going on and we feel free to express that discontent (to ourselves or others).
From a Biblical perspective, the antidote to grumbling and complaining is to REMEMBER. We need to purposefully remember all the blessings that surround us. Emphasizing them, rehearsing their impact, sharing those details will undoubtedly shift our minds from the self-absorbed habit of grumbling.
So, this week as we all enjoy our Thanksgiving traditions, let’s make sure that REMEMBERING is center stage in all our conversations. Remember that in order to hate sitting around in traffic, you actually have to be in a car, not walking to work.
Remember that without obnoxious Uncle Frank being around, you wouldn’t have such a great relationship with all your cousins. Remember that a broken down washing machine suggests that we actually have clothes (multiple sets) to wear. And on it can go…
Let’s address our spiritual amnesia with some intentional remembering. God is faithful. He provides all we need. He is worthy of our praise.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.” (Ps. 100:4)