“If discouragement becomes a lifestyle of complaint, it can throw us into a state of moral paralysis. When that happens, we are stuck not only with our suffering but also with finding little reason in the middle of it to do the good things that God calls all his children to do.”- Paul David Tripp
Paul David Tripp concludes Chapter 8 of Suffering as he discusses the second damaging result of allowing discouragement to take root in your heart.
2. Discouragement: Moral paralysis. First, Pastor Tripp underscores, it’s crucial to humbly admit that we find it easier to complain than to give praise. Hence, it’s easier to focus on all the things that are wrong or missing in our life. But, it’s harder to perceive and celebrate past and current blessings.
In addition, Pastor Tripp observes, discouragement that produces a lifestyle of complaint possesses one negative power. It tends to destroy our trust in God. The author explains:
“Discouragement . . . has the power to rob your of one thing, trust, that will enable you to continue to do good and spiritually healthy things, even difficult things. Complaint, because it tends to question God’s goodness, faithfulness, wisdom, and love assaults your trust in him.”
Thus, as our defenses get worn down by the burden of suffering:
- discouragement begins to grow.
- complaint increasingly replaces gratitude.
- little reason exists to continue to follow God in daily acts of obedience and devotion.
Therefore, we need to affirm our trust in God’s existence and His character. A life of courageous obedience, then, always places it’s roots in a heart that trusts God. Also, God doesn’t wring His hands, in doubt about what to do next. So, defeat the dangerous potential of complaint not through silence, but through praise.
Today’s question: Have you ever found yourself in a state of moral paralysis? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A horizontal life of expectant faith”