Your job is to accept and love

By DARRYL WOOD / Guest Columnist

As she walked out of Sunday school, 6-year-old Amy complained of a tummy ache. “That’s because your tummy is empty,” said mom. “You’ll feel better if you have something in it.”

After a snack, Amy felt better.

That afternoon the family pastor dropped in for a visit. During his chat with the mother, the pastor mentioned he had a bad headache all day.

“That’s because it’s empty,” Amy chimed in. “You’ll feel better if you have something in it.”

Sounds like Amy learned something. Hopefully the pastor did as well. That’s one time when a complaint was better left unsaid. Do you think some people believe the “complaint department” is always open? They have a gripe ready at all times.

Although some complaints may be justified, the Bible identifies an unacceptable complaint category.

“Do not complain, brethren against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” (James 5:9)

James’ concern rested with the impatience and fault finding of some believers toward others. This led to complaints and grumbling that created a distraction. Such behavior only makes the complainer look bad. Why do people complain about others? Sometimes it’s pure jealousy. “How dare them get more attention than me!”

Complaints may arise from a perpetually sour attitude. Some folks never get happy about anything. Or gripes could come because a person won’t trust anyone else. “They just can’t do that as well as I do.”

This verse calls complainers to back off. If someone needs to be evaluated as lacking, let Judge Jesus take care of it. It’s not your job.

Train your energies on receiving people for who they are. You are not required to like everything about another person. But you are expected to accept and love them.

By the way, had any headaches lately? If so, don’t tell Amy. You’ll regret it.

The Rev. Darryl Wood is pastor of First Baptist Church Vincent. You can reach him at