Thursday, December 18, 2008

On gripes and grumbles

There is something terribly Scottish about a good ol moan. According to this there are at least 15 words for "complain" in Scots and I'm sure there's a good few more. It's how we engage in small-talk, relate to one another or break ice in a conversation. Hot topic #1 has to be the weather, then comes increase in house prices, how busy we are and the amount of paperwork we have to do. As a student, Hot Topic #1 has to be exams closely followed by the amount of work we've given to do in such a short time and the busyness of the library to the point where it's almost impossible to find a seat. I know that I moan too much but I do it anyway because it's easy and because it makes for good small talk... Chatting to randoms is one of my favourite pastimes and the number of times I've started chatting to randoms in bus-stops over here because groaning communally about the crazy weather we've been having lately or the tardiness of public transport in this country.
But is this groaning, cultural though it is, even right?

I want my conduct to mirror of Jesus Christ who… “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil2:6-8)
I’m realising more and more the vast importance of a heart attitude. My words and conduct simply mirror what’s inside, even if I try and pretend that there is something else there. And in this passage I see Christ’s attitude – humility, even though He was and is God, far above us humans in every way, yet that didn’t keep from the task at hand – enduring intense public humiliation, suffering, separation from the Father, death on a cross… Talk about a hard example to follow!

I don't think we should just ignore the things that are going wrong with our world, but I'm starting to think that I choose what I say more carefully and think more carefully about how I say it:- Laughing at the weather rather than groaning about it, noticing and being an antidote to what's going wrong in the world but doing it out of genuine concern and love and not just as a reason to groan or as an overspill of oversized ego. It's far too easy to point the finger at others and at other things without looking and seeing fault in myself. I’m aware that this makes it sound easy, or at least easier than it is to put into practice. Especially as it’s gonna take a complete heart-transplant to properly put into action. Min am I grateful though that we have a God who is more than able and willing to perform the operation!

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