Consider the Lilies..: grumble, grumble..   

Feb 25, 2014

grumble, grumble..

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 that there were four things the Israelites did that angered God. 

1. Idolatry
2. Sexual immorality
3. Tested God (Christ)
4. Complained

This day in age the first three, at least to Christians, are still pretty big. But we really don't seem to hold the last one on the same level.  Seriously, how many of you would put complaining on the same level as sexual immorality?
Nowadays at least to a lot of us, voicing our complaints is really not that big of a deal. 

It's a big deal to God. 

I understand that it was a few thousand years ago that God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt.  I understand that this was "Old Testament" and there are significant changes in the New Testament. The veil was torn, we no longer give burnt offerings, nor are we bound by law to circumcision.  I get that..  Totally..

But one thing has absolutely not changed? The character of God.  What pleased God 4000 years ago pleases God today.  What grieved God 4000 years ago grieves God today. What angered God 4000 years ago still angers God today. 

The people grumbled and deplored their hardships, which was evil in the ears of the Lord, and when the Lord heard it, His anger was kindled. 
Numbers 11:1

We think of murmuring and complaining as really no big deal. We are just saying what we feel right?  We are being 'real'..  
But according to the Bible, God considers it evil.  So evil that He gave Miriam leprosy when she complained and then later destroyed thousands more for complaining too.
Why would we take something that God considers evil so lightly?  If it's really no big deal, it should be no big deal to stop either, right?

The point is, we are known by our fruit, what comes from our mouths is spiritual fruit. Complaining is bad fruit.  And it displeases God. 

This is not just an Old Testament concept; Philippians, Ephesians, James, 1 Peter, 1 Corinthians, Romans, Colossians, and Thessalonians, all warn against complaining.  Even Jesus said "do not grumble among yourselves". 

So, what happens when we complain?

1. Complaining kills gratitude. You cannot complain and be grateful at the same time.  *Which also means, if we truly have a heart of gratitude (like the Bible tells us to) then we have no reason to complain.* 

2. Complaining is contagious. When we complain to others, it invites them to complain as well, thus we are spreading the poison.   

3. It demeans our quality of life.  When we think negatively, we speak negatively. Words have power! When we speak out those complaints, our words plant negative seeds in our lives that are fed and watered by even more complaining (one complaint just breeds another). After a while we have a whole harvest of negative, which is our life. 

4. It's selfish. No one complains for someone else. We complain for ourselves. We are speaking of our own discomfort be it physical, emotional, relational or spiritual. It's all about us. When we put a voice to our complaints we are saying "hey, look at me! Notice me, and hear all about how annoyed/angry/upset I am!"

There are lots more reasons why we should not complain but the fact that it displeases God should be the only one we need. 

"if you love me you will obey me". 
-Jesus

"do not grumble" 
-Jesus

18 comments:

  1. As I sit here "grumbling" to my mom about a decision one of my children seems to be making and the person it includes, I read this post. So timely. Thank you for bringing back to the word and how I am to respond to this situation.
    xoxo
    Stacey

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    1. Sort of the same thing happened for me yesterday.. I was pondering a situation I'm dealing with and wondering what God thinks about it and what would He want me to do and then someone posted the exact Bible verse I needed on my daughter's FB.. He had no idea that God was using him to answer my prayer, but there it was..

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  2. A timely read Ren. Easy to slip into complaining and forgot that it is something that displeases God.

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  3. Ouch! This is very convicting, in a painfully good way. :) What a good reminder about something we consider so everyday and ordinary.

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  4. Thank you for this reminder. I love how you've clearly spelled it out! I confess that I am guilty sometimes of complaining, but your words have really made me think about that. Thank you.

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    1. You're welcome, I'm glad you liked it.. It's a lesson I have to remind myself of daily :)

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  5. Hey Ren ... Great writing! Super wake up call that our endless moaning and groaning and whining really is a such a sin. We're often too busy looking at the BIG sins and neglect the ones that we are guilty of day in and out.

    I'm convicted.

    So good to meet you this week!

    ;-}

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    1. Yay! A new blog friend! Thank you so much Linda :)

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  6. Dear Ren, How are you? I am really enjoying your post! Is the Blog you want me to place on my sidebar? As of now it is on my bottom blog list of lovely places to visit. I have two places because when I find someone I enjoy, I place them there to see if they post often and if we might just click!
    And I enjoy you and I hope to keep this exchange growing. I was wondering if you would like to be featuring on my blog sometime? I really like this post on complaining! On your profile you don't have an email do you! i do if you want to respond that way back to me!
    I am leaving to go visit my daughter next week. But let me know!
    Blessings, Roxy

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  7. Great points! Most Christians do tend to brush off complaining as something that is not so bad. Thanks for reminding us of why it is a problem.

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  8. Great reminder to stay positive, I usually forget the "small" things (at least those deemed small by society) as well. For some reason it's easier to obey the big things than the little.
    Raspy Wit

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  9. Hi Ren! I liked the study on complaining today. Especially the part on how it kills gratitude. That is so true! If I am crabby, how can anything look good? And everything that God makes for me is beautiful. I need to stay in that gift of gratitude.
    Great post :)
    Ceil

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Love your comments! Thanks so much!