Monday, August 10, 2015

Beware of complaining!

Do you ever hear a sermon that makes you squirm in your seat?  Well, yesterday's sermon at church did that to me.  Isn't it true that we Christians hold some sins as being much worse than others? We point our condemning finger at the adulterer or the thief or the drunk and turn our noses up at the blasphemer, prostitute, and homosexual.  But what about complaining?

The Dictionary defines Complaining as:  to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault: 

How many of us do this on a daily, maybe even hourly basis?  Can you see me raising my hand? I'm the first one to admit that I often grumble about my life and my circumstances, especially when things don't go my way.

Before I go on, let me say that to merely tell others of your hardships isn't complaining. We need to be able to share our lives with others, to vent our frustrations and heartaches, even our doubts, and receive love and support in return. That's what our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are for!. But there is a point reached where if we go beyond it, we have moved into useless complaining.  You will quickly recognize it by the slight twinge of conviction within you and the cloud of anger and hopelessness that overwhelms you.

Basically, from what I see in Scripture, Biblical complaining is when God's people are dissatisfied with God's provision or with what God is doing in their lives, and as a consequence they don't trust that He has a plan and will come through for them in the end.  Think of the children of Israel after God led them out of Egypt. He did countless miracles, rescued them from bondage, wiped out the Egyptian army, led them through the desert by a pillar fire at night and a cloud by day, gave them water out of rocks, manna from heaven, and made it so their clothes and shoes never worn out.  All that, and still they complained.

The people refused to enter the pleasant land,
for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
Instead, they grumbled in their tents
and refused to obey the Lord.
Therefore, he solemnly swore
that he would kill them in the wilderness,Psalm 106:24-26

God takes complaining very seriously. These people spent their lives wandering around the wilderness and never saw the promised land.  All because of their complaining and lack of faith in God. I would say God takes complaining extremely seriously. In fact in 1 Corinthians, Paul lists it alongside idolatry and sexual immorality!

 These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.” And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.
Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites.  And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death.  These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age. 
1 Corinthians 10:6-11

I admit, I was terribly convicted by these Scriptures and by what my pastor said on Sunday. I know I need to take complaining much more seriously than I have in the past and watch myself when I'm tempted to grumble about something.  When I complain about my life or my situation, I'm basically telling God that I don't trust Him and I don't appreciate what He's done for me. Yikes!  Instead, let's all practice being grateful for every little thing we have and instead of complaining about the bad stuff, ask God for help and trust that He'll provide all that we need in His good time.



  1. MaryLu, thanks for sharing those pearls of wisdom from your pastor's sermon! It really is something we need to take seriously. I'm going to be watching out for it more in my life, sometimes I think we do it without even realizing! God bless. xx

    1. Yes, it's so easy to do, isn't it? Thanks Noela.

  2. Monday 10th,
    "Morning, MaryLu .... and Noela."
    Amen and Amen, to yet another timely word in due season ! Yes, I too complain. But with this thing called "aging" .... I'm "trying" ..... trying my very best, that when I complain about something ... turning it around and purposely "choosing" to be thankful for something as well in the given situation. Staying on-top-of-it though, is not always easy. But you are right ... there is so much to be thankful for ... we can always find "something" to be thankful for !
    And truly ... if God dislikes/hates our complaining so very much, and, was wanting to kill off the very people He rescued out of Egypt (because of all their complaining and grumbling) ... this should be a MEGA wake-up call to us too !!!
    SO very thankful for the awesome God we serve !!!
    Thanks for sharing !
    Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda

    1. LOL. I agree about aging... aches and pains and memory and well, I could go on... hard not to complain. But like I said, I think it's okay to share your burdens with those who care and understand. Being thankful is the opposite of complaining and something I'm trying to do more of too!

  3. Great post! Oh and your title threw me...Beward? LOL, just teasing you. :-)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Great post! Oh and your title threw me...Beward? LOL, just teasing you. :-)

    1. LOL I didn't even notice that!! Thanks, Chappy! Silly me.

  6. Love this post, MaryLu.....thanks! And like Brenda said, age and pains do make it harder to not complain. However, I like her advice to look for something to be thankful for in the given situation.......I am seriously trying that!!!
    You ladies are such an inspiration!

  7. Amen, MaryLu!!

    Yes, as Noela commented - complaining can become a habit to the point we don't even realize we are doing it. I've found that the more I give thanks, the less I complain. Keeping a gratefulness journal and listing even the smallest of my blessings each day, is an eye-opener of how blessed I really am and tends to keep me in a more grateful frame of mind - versus a complaining one. Just as it can become a habit to complain, it can also become a habit to be grateful.

    Love, prayers, and hugs, MaryLu!!