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The Justifications of a Sulker

God doesn’t work on a “brownie points” system.

Here’s what I mean. Your obeying His command to tithe a tenth of your income doesn’t give you brownie points with God so that you can verbally abuse your kids. If you serve faithfully in the soup kitchen, you don’t get the option of indulging a gambling addiction that loses the family’s rent money.

Those seem like pretty extreme examples I realize, but we can also say we’re following God’s direction while sulking and acting fairly rotten to the people around us.

As we continue on in our book club discussion, we find that Katie has returned to America to honor the commitment she made to her parents to go to college.

I will say this, Katie Davis is nothing if she’s not honest. She didn’t hide any of the warts or bad behavior, but I also have to admit, I was getting perturbed by some of the things she was saying until she came to this:

From Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and Beth Clark

I understand (to a degree) the hardship of leaving your children and home and I wouldn’t dare to diminish that one bit. It was an extremely difficult situation, but she had the heart that God had told her to honor her parents. She tried to make the best of it, but she also felt justified in her anger and sulking.

I know the scripture is about fasting, but I feel like it applies here,

16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” –Matthew 6:16-18

Sometimes we live our lives this way and call it “trusting God.” It’s kind of like saying, “Okay God, I’ll obey but I don’t have to be happy about it.”  What’s sad is when we take that view, we miss out on the peace and life that’s available in those hardest moments as we simply cry out for it. It’s dependence on Him in a different form.

Our attitude needs an adjustment.

We’d rather everyone know and understand how miserable we are then to truly trust God that He will work it out for His glory. Instead of acting out His heart of compassion, love, and kindness right where we are– we are simply more concerned with acting out and wanting people to know how much it hurts.

I can’t stand in judgment for one second. I’ve indulged in this sort of behavior way too frequently (especially with those closest to me) and every time I come to see how ridiculously unfruitful it is. It’s time to learn and grow, and I’m so thankful for my Father’s patience and willingness to do His work in the midst of it.

I won’t recount the whole thing, but Katie was standing in front of a testimony. The provision she needed, God was working in hearts and lives as He was working in hers as well.  The money and resources (as well as the faith and trust) she needed to see God’s work continue in Uganda came about because she was right where He had led her to be in those moments.

That’s just like God–turning those impossibly hard situations and bringing life from them.

Do you understand what I’m trying to say here? Do you tend to justify any sulking behavior? Do you see every situation as an opportunity to show Christ’s love and heart?

This is part of our book club discussion on Week 11 of Kisses from Katie (disclosure) by Katie J. Davis and Beth Clark. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, add it in the link widget below and be sure to check out the other entries. Also head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for another great take. Whether you’ve read the selection or not, please share your thoughts! We always appreciate a vibrant conversation.


  1. Rejoice in the Lord Always… even when He leads us away from our comfort, our desire, our idea of where we should be…

    He is in control… God knows what is best, and all things (even our discomfort) work together for His good.

    He will provide… He knows what is needed better than we do.

    Trust. Obey. Serve. Rejoice.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..God Will Provide Exactly What Is Needed.My Profile

    • Sort of goes with my post yesterday, but we can always rejoice because He is always in control. Thank you, Dusty.

  2. I have read Glynn’s, Dusty’s, now yours, Jason, and all had a different take on this situation. Dusty’s was a quote but yours and Glynn’s focused on this aspect of this chapter. You both made different observations. ‘Course I haven’t read it but it appears to me she suffered from the “Bill malady,” i.e. doing one thing but not really having her heart in it. My whining might not be over such a big things as hers but i still whine. What Glynn pointed out is her eventual acceptance of it. I think we all need to come to that point (as you stated).
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..WhoRU?My Profile

    • You’re right--I didn’t make that clear--she didn’t stay there! And the whining isn’t confined to you, Bill. We can trust from the beginning and walk out His life and peace (not that I’m anywhere close to perfect with that). Thanks so much, Bill.

  3. I can totally relate to what you are saying in this post Jason. It is way to easy to sulk while I seek to obey God. This is so sad because as you said we miss out on the peace and blessings of God when we do this.
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..Interview with author Frank Peretti and book giveawayMy Profile

    • All we can do is learn and grow--from others and our own experiences. I know my sulking is a lack of trust even while I say I’m following God! I can’t have it both ways, but I try way too often. Thanks Kevin.

  4. I know what you mean when I see others sulk because of whats going on in the world. I go nuts inside my spirit lol but like you said we can’t judge them its our job to teach them the word of God
    andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • Certainly the world sulks out of fear, but we have a living hope and it causes life to erupt out of us! Thanks Andrew.

  5. I get it. I’m guilty of it too… We all want to get our way and often, especially when we’re following our flesh, it doesn’t match God’s ways. There’s a battle we can’t win…

    I tend to be more of an angry guy instead of the sulking one. Probably worse.
    floyd recently posted..THRONE OF LIESMy Profile

    • I know you’re not being funny, but I still laughed. 🙂 I know what you mean--same idea behind it. Thanks Floyd.


  1. RLC Blog - RT @br8kthru: The Justifications of a Sulker
  2. Dusty Rayburn - RT @br8kthru: The Justifications of a Sulker
  3. Jason Stasyszen - RT @dlrayburn: RT @br8kthru: The Justifications of a Sulker <<thank you Dusty!
  4. SA City Church - The Justifications of a Sulker - God doesn’t work on a “brownie points” system.
  5. Glynn Young - The Justifications of a Sulker, by @br8kthru at Connecting to Impact
  6. Jason Stasyszen - New Blog Post: The Justifications of a Sulker

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