My good friend Nathan writes the feature this week! See more of his stuff at http://oneearthenvessel.blogspot.com/
I noticed when I first became a Christian I was violently interested in “what I gained” as a Christian, ie, God’s forgiveness, the fact that his ear is always listening to my prayer, that Jesus is there to cover whatever shortcomings I have. As my faith became tempered I noticed that I began to view Christianity in terms of “what I’m giving up.” I saw more and more that the “sacrifice” side of a relationship with Jesus is, in fact, huge.
Somewhere along the road I realized one thing I surrender as a Christian is the right to complain, or maybe the right to be cynical. When Paul says in Philippians he’s “content in any situation” notice how he says he’s “learned” to be content.
He didn’t wake up that way, he learned it. Some versions even say “I’ve learned the secret of being content.”
To me, that means giving up the right to bemoan my station. I think, if we’re heartfelt with our faith we end up admitting there’s actually very little a Christian can complain about.