We often reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on February 24, 2016.
Prayer: Gracious God, we complain about things and what good does it do? Help us to see it often only destroys ourselves. Thank you for being faithful to us. Your mercy is great. Amen
Reading: I Corinthians 10: 1-13 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. --I Corinthians 10: 10
Oh man, wouldn't it be great to see that big complainer in your life destroyed by the destroyer? Sounds harsh, I know. But you know who I'm talking about. The grumbler, the whiner, the one who can never be pleased. Yeah, that one. Destroyed by the destroyer. That takes care of that!
Oh, but wait, we are to be reading the Bible and today particularly I Corinthians 10: 1-13, as if it is speaking to ourselves. Sure, Paul had a lot to teach the Corinthians back in the day, but our days are no different. Honestly, what was your last complaint? That the line was long at the store? The assignment was too hard? The boss wasn't fair? The weather is too cold (or too hot!)? Complain, complain, complain.
And the destroyer destroys us. But who is the destroyer? It may just be ourselves, our attitudes and our very own complaints. Lots of folks are getting what they need at the store. You are challenged to work harder and perhaps learn more. The bigger picture may show that the boss had your best interests in mind in the long run. The seasons and temps serve their purpose.
Sometimes complaints are justified, sure. But sometimes complaints destroy the good that may be in the works. Sometimes the complaints simply destroy the complainer.
Oh, to see with the eyes of God. The best we can do is see with the eyes of faith, hope and love. Save us, gracious God.
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