I have always enjoyed fishing, but it can be a trying pastime…especially for children. I suppose that I was only eight or nine years old when an uncle took me fishing in a small boat. The fish weren‘t really biting, and like most children I got bored quickly. I couldn‘t be still. Every time I moved, the boat rocked back and forth scaring away any fish that might have been willing to bite. Probably after every other breath, I was complaining about how bored I was or maybe wishing I could even go back home.
At some point my uncle just looked at me. He then handed me a boat oar and said…‖Why don‘t you get us home.‖ To my great delight, he taught me to row a boat slow and steady. I had the time of my life. Being as young as I was it took forever to get back to shore. While I was occupied rowing, he quietly continued to fish. By the time we reached the shore we had all the fish needed for supper.
Jesus was not a stranger to complaints and complainers. In fact, one of the most well known complaints happens when a woman interrupts Jesus and others during a meal (Mark 14:3-9). She pours perfume worth a year‘s wages over Jesus‘ head. Those gathered around begin to complain that there were far better ways to use the money she had just wasted. In his rebuke of those complaining, Jesus seems to point out that while they were suggesting good things that could have been done with the money, she actually DID something good.
Too often we spend more time talking and complaining than we spend doing. Talk is always cheap, and complaints are even cheaper. Christians are supposed to be a people of action. A deeper knowledge of Christ comes through involvement not inactivity. James 1:22 puts it eloquently, ―Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourself.‖ The most well- intentioned complaints can work to undermine the confidence and energy of those who have given of themselves. No one is perfect, and even the most dedicated persons will make mistakes. It is always destructive to sit back and enjoy the journey only to complain about the destination to which you have arrived. Others come to know Christ more through what we do rather than say. Become physically involved and offer your input during the journey when it will be the most beneficial…when it will be the most appreciated. Doing something is to be preferred over doing nothing. The plain and simple fact of the matter is that the person who rows the boat never has time to rock it.