walk in the word
Complaining is one of the most pervasive attitude problems in our culture. Just open the newspaper to the letters to the editor and read complaint after complaint. Or hang around the water cooler at work and hear employees gripe about the boss’ latest “bad decision.” Or stand in line at McDonald’s during the lunch hour rush when every cashier seems to be in training. And then there’s the Internet, with tons of Web sites that exist solely to provide an online forum for complaining.
Now, let me be the first to say that in certain situations I really enjoy complaining. In fact, I like it so much that I would never consider eliminating it from my life were it not for what I have learned about how God hates it. That’s right, He hates complaining. If you find it hard to conceive that God would “make such a big deal” about your complaining, check out Numbers 11:1. Note Moses’ journal entry from one day in the wilderness with the people of Israel:
Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.
Here’s this group of people standing on the edge of their makeshift city, and they are whining and grumbling about something. Whatever the subject matter, it was the final straw for God, and He sent fire among the whole group. If that doesn’t tell you how God feels about complaining, nothing will! And before you try to dismiss that as “Old Testament,” remember that what happened to the Israelites was intended by almighty, unchanging God as an example for us (1 Corinthians 10:11).
So, is this a message you need to hear? Ask yourself, “Am I a complainer? Is this a problem in my life?” Be brutally honest with yourself. After all, God hears every word you say and knows every thought you think. You may be fooling yourself, but you aren’t fooling Him.
If complaining is rearing its ugly head in your life, acknowledge its wickedness and ask God to change your attitude. The good news is that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ provided a way for us to be forgiven and cleansed, and to have a fresh start in life and in our attitudes. We need only repent — agree with God that our complaints are sin — and choose to turn from complaining and ask His forgiveness. Do it today, loved one. Put off complaining and begin to put on the life-giving, joy-producing attitude of gratitude. Your life will never be the same again!
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