By Greg Johnson
Your softball team is on a losing streak. You tell yourself it’s not like it’s life or death or anything. But losing all the time and not getting to play the position you think you should... well, it’s hard to take sometimes.
The coach is a hothead, too—not only at games, but also at practices. He has high expectations, and since your team can’t seem to win a game, his blood boils even more. No, he doesn’t swear, he’s just a screamer.
One day, you and a few teammates are sitting on the third base bench looking out into the field before practice, waiting for the coach to get there with the equipment. That’s when you start.
“Do you guys ever feel like quitting?” you ask them.
One player says yes, but the others say nothing.
“Aren’t you sick of losing? Sick of being yelled at? Aren’t you tired of seeing the same people pitching all the time and never getting anyone out? I know coaches always have their favorites, but when their main players can’t get the ball over the plate, don’t you think they should make a few changes?”
One of the others says something about not being able to play shortstop, and being able to throw players out much better than the shortstop you have.
That sets you off even more. You immediately start in on the whole team, position by position. After listening a couple more minutes to your complaining, one of your friends gives you this look that says shut up. You turn around... there’s your coach standing right behind you.
“Oh, hi, Coach,” your friend says. “How long you been standing there?”
After practice he calls you over to talk. (As in he talks, you listen.) He’s not happy with your attitude and challenges you to either be a team player or take a hike.
Questions to Think On
• Would you ever really complain that much?
• What do you complain about the most? (Parents can help on this one.)
• Complaining and grumbling often mean you’re dissatisfied with the way things are. What are ways to express dissatisfaction without complaining?
• Mom and Dad: How can complaining short-circuit the feeling of contentment God wants you to have in whatever circumstances he’s placed you?
What Does God Have to Say?
Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered.