Many years ago I heard a seminary prof teach on the Holy Spirit and he shared one of the fastest ways to quench the Holy Spirit. I leaned over in my desk, pencil in hand ready to take notes so that I would not make that mistake in my own life…my jaw dropped to the floor as he said one of the fastest ways to quench the Holy Spirit in your life is to….complain or be critical. OUCH! I was expecting something as least on what I thought was the same level as adultery. But complain? Gosh. Knew I was guilty of that. Probably more often than I wanted to think about. From that moment on I began to take a mental note of when I did complain and attempted to quickly confess it. As someone who was preparing for ministry at that time, and today in ministry, the Holy Spirit is a basic for spiritual leadership. I love to grow and am always reading all I can get my hands on regarding leadership development but a person can know that stuff and still quench God’s power. I don’t want to be that kind of Christian. I want to live and minister with power! Recently the Lord reminded me that a follower of Christ and especially a leader must not forget the basics of the Christian life. No matter how long we have been born again we do forget the basics. That is why discipleship is so critical.
Recently we have been cleaning and repairing a home we rented for a few years. Before leasing the home was just a few years old and in excellent condition. Without going into many details (and complaining) I’ll just say that the tenant did much damage and did not clean, vacuum or mop once. Hard to believe I know but trust me. He shared a reason for this. His wife was out of the country. As I am cleaning one of the bathroom floors for the 4th time (not kidding) on my hands and knees trying to get the crud and smell off the floor of the toilet area Todd walked in to see how it was going. My response was one of complaint…I am too old to be on my hands and knees for the 4th time trying to clean this stuff (actually I said crap but stuff sounds better). Cleaning up after you and the boys is one thing….cleaning up after a Muslim man and his friends is a whole different matter. Was my response due to lack of sleep and fatigue and back pain or did this reveal something deeper in my heart? Nevertheless I was complaining. A few seconds later the Holy Spirit clearly (you know when it is God speaking to you) spoke to me and said “I died for that Muslim man and his friends.” Okay Lord, thanks for giving me the right perspective. Please forgive my complaining spirit. A better attitude would be one of gratitude that we have such a beautiful home to clean.
What about you? Is there anything you have complained about or been critical about recently?