Many of us complain every day, sometimes without even realizing it. Have you ever considered how many times you may have complained throughout an average day?
The Color Oxford English Dictionary defines the word “complain” as, “express dissatisfaction or annoyance” (Complain, 2006, p.132) and also defines the phrase “complain of” as, “state that you are suffering from a particular symptom” (Complain of, 2006, p.132).
We complain about the…
…weather (“it’s too hot”, “it’s too cold”, “it’s raining”, “it’s snowing”, “I want summer”, “I want winter”)
…traffic (“it’s too slow”, “there’s too much of it”, “where did they learn how to drive”, “pick a lane”, “get off your cell phone”, “do you need me to drive it for you”, “let’s go sweetie”)
…food (“it’s too hot”, “it’s too cold”, “it’s bland”, “it’s too spicy”, “not this again”, “nothing good to eat”)
…work (“I do not want to go to work today”, “this job is boring”, “work is too hard”, “the boss is too demanding”, “the boss does not understand”, “they are getting better treatment”, “it’s unfair”, “hours are too long”, “hours are too short”, “I need a vacation”)
These are just some of the complaints that we think about or vocalize during our day. I am sure there are many more, especially when we are sick or tired.
Throughout the Bible there are many areas where people have complained to leaders and to God. Every time someone complained, it was not received well by God.
Every time I hear or think about the act of complaining, it immediately brings to my mind Moses and Israel in the wilderness.
“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them.
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:24-26 KJV).
Israel murmurings involved;
water Exodus 15:24-26, food Exodus 16:2-8, water Exodus 17:3-7, fear Numbers 14:2-38, bitterness Numbers 16:41-50, jealousy Numbers 17:1-13, water Numbers 20:1-13, food Numbers 21:4-9.
God was taking care of their needs, He had a plan to bring them into the promised land; a land flowing with milk and honey. He provided for their every name time and time again. It seems like they did not use a lot of common sense to think about this before complaining. They were rebellious, never satisfied, always looking for something more, and quick to doubt. They were given water, manna, and meat by God; still it was not enough. There was always something they would find to complain about and were continually thinking God was against them. They were also a right here, right now type of people. There thinking was more on the lines of, “If I am not receiving it right when I want it, then you are not going to provide it for me and you are against me”.
Do you notice any of these traits (rebellious, continually dissatisfied, looking for more, quick to doubt, right now attitude) in the world today or within our own selves?
Why cannot we be satisfied with what God has given us? Why are we always looking for more than what we are given? Why do our minds quickly jump to the worst outcome for our situations, instead of waiting on and believing God will supply all our needs? Why do we grumble about the littlest things and the slightest inconveniences? Did Jesus grumble and complain throughout His ministry and walk to the cross? Are the things we complain about worse than what Jesus went through?
In stead of complaining, let us choose an alternative; do something about it, wait on God and show patience, pray. Do you think God likes hearing us complain when He is fulfilling our needs and always there to take care of us? God hears all of our complaints, even those that are in our thoughts.
How would it cause you to feel if you gave someone everything they needed, but still they complained over and over again?
- Grumbling in our Tents (walkingwithbenedict.wordpress.com)
- Lectionary Reflection: John 6: 35-51: And More Bread of Life (michaelkizzia.wordpress.com)
- Grumble if you must, but then trust (drewdowns.net)
- “He is perfect, I am not!” (practicinghispresenceministries.wordpress.com)
- In EVERYTHING give thanks (livingmoreabundantly.wordpress.com)