Friday, February 19, 2010

On Grumbling

"Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer." 1 Corinthians 10:10

I hate grumbling. I hate it in myself and I hate to see it in others. God doesn't like it too much either. Here's why: It smacks against God's sovereignty in providence by implying that God doesn't know what He's doing. That's blasphemous, and that's why God warns us not to make a habit of it lest we receive the same fate as those idolatrous Israelites that were slaughtered in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:1-11). Not only that, but regularly associating with folks that gripe and complain a lot without lovingly rebuking them is an almost guaranteed way to turn into an ungrateful person yourself. Remember that Paul said, "Bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Corinthians 15:33). Usually after asking a grumbler, "How ya doin?", five minutes later you wonder why you asked. These folks are a dime-a-dozen these days, and the more sinful people become, the more ungrateful, complaining, and cynical they become. Think about all the ways that people grumble:
  • Weather - With grumblers it's always too hot, too cold, too much rain, too much dryness, too much snow, always too much something, and whatever it is outside (or inside) it's certainly never right. I hear this in lost, grumpy elderly people more than anyone else. Yes, I realize that physiologically, the elderly tend to "feel" weather changes more than anyone else due to changes in the barometric pressure affecting their arthritic joints or the allergies affecting their respiratory problems. However, from the standpoint of sanctification, shall we not exhort our fellow Christian to think about God's purpose in the weather? Does not the Almighty have a plan for the weather; one that we usually are not and will not be privy to? (Psalm 135:6)
  • Work - Grumblers always complain about their jobs, even if they have a good one with decent working conditions in a sour economy. However, those who are prone to complaining rarely appreciate God giving them a job in the first place to provide for their family and to support ministry and missions. These types of folks are truly ungrateful.
  • Church - Professing Christians grumble about church. Since they imply that their fellow Christians are supposed to be perfect, they grumble and gossip instead of confronting and reconciling in love. These folks fear Biblical confrontation that is designed to heal rather than hurt, and in their cowardice they talk about others behind their backs on Saturday night yet hug their necks on Sunday morning. Worse yet, they are implicitly blaming God for putting these people into their lives to make them worse instead of make them better.
  • Family - Grumblers grumble about family, especially lost family members. After all, uncle Johnny just needs to "sober up". The problem is, your drunken uncle Johnny will go to Hell whether he sobers up or not and your not telling him about Jesus is a surefire way to keep him on that broad road. Instead of grumbling, how about having compassion for your lost family and friends and pray for their souls. Pray that God will either use you or someone else to tell them about Jesus.
  • Friends - If people's friends knew that they grumbled about them the way that they do, they'd cease being their friend. How about showing the love of Christ to them, pray for them, and ask God to either save or sanctify them?
  • Everything else - Some people complain about almost everything. This is the sign of a truly ungrateful person. Don't be like them. Remember the Israelites (1 Cor. 10:10).
When you think about it, not only do we as spoiled, materialistic, Americans grumble a lot, but we do it well. May God help us by convicting us of this dastardly sin and expose us for the ungrateful complainers that we are before it's too late!