Why your pastor should love complaints

There are 150 Psalms in the Christian Bible and roughly 1/3 of them are laments. Laments are structured ways to complain against God and as Rev. Estee Valendy noted in her sermon, interwoven in the lament are expressions of faith and hope. 

Humans love to complain but hate to hear them. Irony at it's finest. But the reality is, your pastor should love complaints. Complaints are ways for people to deal with their feelings and emotions. It is natural and healthy to share these feelings, remember 1/3 of the Psalms in the Bible are complaints. However, our culture does not like those who complain. So what are we to do with these feelings? Most of the time we push them down and do not allow them to surface except when we rehearse the script of what we want to say while we are driving. We do not have a healthy place to confront these feelings and complaints and they begin to fester in us only to manifest in other ways, such as road rage. 

The fact of the matter is part of the reason pastors should love complaints is that there is one place left where complaints are accepted and heard - the Church. The promise of the Church is that when you come to complain, the Church will not leave you or cast you aside. The Church of Christ hears your cry and will not take it personally, but will have the courage to sit with you even as you cast stones at her. 

Pastors should love hearing complaints because it means that people are finding ways to address their feelings in mature and healthy ways. And ultimately that is role of the pastor, to help people move toward maturity in Christ.

So I remind you that if you have complaints, don't push them down. Perhaps write them down, but do not fear your complaints. And if you are afraid of your complaints, then share them with your pastor. We are here to stand by you so you are not alone.