Am I a Curmudgeon?

Curmudgeon, it sounds like what it is: “a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man” (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary). Since the big six-oh is fast approaching, maybe I need to test myself. What about you? Are you the person, regardless of gender or age, that when people move out of ear-shot of the last discourse with you, shake their heads saying, “Why does he/she complain so much?” It’s a symptom you’re getting curmudgeonitis!

We should ask ourselves, “Do I have reasons to be sad and grumpy?” YES. I’m not as healthy as I used to be (of course, some of this is my own doing). I can’t go to the grocery store without seeing people with more money than me. I live in an ugly, corrupt world (2 Timothy 3:1-8). And one of these days, I’m going to die. Enough reasons?

NO! I am alive and it is so easy to observe the beauty of this world God made for us (Psalm 8&19). I have family, friends and brethren who genuinely love me; not to mention God, who loved me so much He sent His Son to die for me, in spite of all my sins (Romans 5:8)! I obeyed the Lord’s Gospel and am assured I won’t share the fate of those who don’t (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10).

Some, even Christians, might say it looks like a toss-up, so I might as well be grumpy. But wait! God tells me, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31 NKJV). He wants me to let my light shine, so that people will end up glorifying Him (Matthew 5:16). Somehow, I can’t see a shining light and curmudgeon together.

I wear the name of Christ! Did Jesus have reasons to complain? Just a few. And yet as He hangs dying in agony on the cross, the perfect time to feel sorry for Himself, He says, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34); and to the thief who admitted that Jesus didn’t deserve to be there, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Where is the self-centered curmudgeon?

So, yes, I don’t need to fall in the crevice of curmudgeoness. I can keep my eyes on Jesus, endure my troubles, and show the world I’m a Christian with a smile (Hebrews 12:1-2). Will you join me?

Jeff