Should I Complain?

Wouldn’t be shameful to wear one of these monikers? bawler, bleater, moaner, screamer, squawker, wailer, weeper crab, grump, malcontent, baby, bellyacher, crybaby, fussbudget, fusser, fusspot, griper, grumbler, kvetch, Kvetcher, sniveler, whiner. They say that most people complain between 15 to 30 times per day ( chapter one. That’s not a good thing for the complainer or those who have to listen.

Paul encouraged us not to murmur or complain (Philippians 2:14). A person who habitually complains is in danger of losing perspective on the goodness and kindness of God. Most complaints discredit the good things in life while accentuating the negative. In many cases the mind of the complainer is unable to see the good in any situation of life.

What do we complain about? It would take an ocean of ink to write the list. What do we give praise for? I imagine that list is far, far shorter. If you really want to turn you life around start labeling your blessings and nurture those thoughts. Fix the situations in life that you can with God’s help. Accept the fact that not everything in life is going to be fair, equal or right. The righteous shall suffer persecution, woes and pain in life. But, the Lord is with us to lift us up.

A querulous person drains others and even steals their joy, courage and willingness to serve the Lord. Look at how the Israelites frustrated Moses and Jehovah God with their constant complaining. Here is a list of times and places that Israel complained during their sojourn through the wilderness:

  • At the Red Sea when it seemed Pharaoh’s army would destroy them (Exo. 14:10-12)
  • At Marah when they found bitter water (Exo. 15:22-24)
  • In the Desert of Sin as they hungered (Exo. 16:1-3)
  • In the Desert of Sin when they paid no attention to Moses concerning the storing of the manna till morning (Exo. 16:19-20)
  • In the Desert of Sin as they disregarded Moses’ instructions about gathering manna on the seventh day (Exo. 16:27-30)
  • At Rephidim as they complained for water (Exo. 17:1-4)
  • At Mt. Sinai as Aaron led the people in making the golden calf (Exo. 32:1-35)
  • At Taberah when the people raged against the Lord (Num. 11:1-3)
  • At Kibroth Hattaavah in the grumbling provoked by the desire for meat (Num. 11:4-34)
  • At Kadesh in the Desert of Paran when the people refused to receive the good report of Joshua and Caleb but rather wished themselves dead (Num. 14:1-3)

How shameful that they did not see the daily food, divinely provided water, the leadership of God’s cloud by day and fire by night. How different their history might have been had they not kept their joyful spirit found in Miriam’s song of Exodus 15.

Let us “Do all things without grumbling or disputing” Philippians 2:14 (ESV)

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