Words of Worth

What? No Complaining?

February 19, 2016

stop complainingDid you know that health professionals suggest complaining can actually be very good for your health? That’s right. They classify complaining into two categories, INSTRUMENTAL and EXPRESSIVE, which if used to dialogue, validate, support, problem solve, or connect with another human being is quite healthy!

Instrumental complaints are goal oriented, meaning that we verbalize the problem in hopes of bringing about change. For example, you complain to a chef that your pasta is undercooked in hopes that you will receive some compensation for your meal.  On the other hand,  expressive complaints have a different purpose: they let you vent or get something off your chest. When you complain about the driver who cut you off, you feel better once you get it out!  Used in these ways, complaining can be very healthy!

But God’s Word says in Philippians 2:14, “Do all things without grumbling…,” which is really His way of saying stop complaining.  Yet we live in a very complaining society. It’s a curiosity that we live in the most indulged society but the more we have the more discontent we seem to be and the more complaining we seem to be. Nothing is ever enough.

Complaining may be part of our culture, but it is not new to our culture. The first complaining human being who ever walked was the first human being who ever walked-Adam. And what was Adam’s first complaint? “The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12)  We are in this mess because of this woman. He didn’t blame Eve, he blamed God. Eve had nothing to do with it. God made Eve.

Adam may have filed the first complaint in history, but as we continue on in history, we come to the number one illustration of grumbling, murmuring, belly-aching griping people, namely the Israelites. Numbers 13:30-33 gives us a little insight in to the potential power of this attitude to spread:

30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” 32 So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. 33 There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

So they come back as Prophets of doom…we’ll never do it, we can’t make it, we can’t defeat them. It’s a bad report. It will fail. And in essence they really complained against the fact that God had told them to go in.

In Numbers 14:36-38 we see what happened to these men:

36 As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land and who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing out a bad report concerning the land, 37 even those men who brought out the very bad report of the land died by a plague before the Lord. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive out of those men who went to spy out the land.

These people complained against God, they complained against God calling them to go into the land, they complained because the odds were against them humanly speaking. And in their disbelief and complaining against God they caused the whole nation to grumble and as a result God killed them with a plague.

Grumbling is contagious and our  discontent, critical spirits, grumbling attitudes, and murmuring complaints will infect other people. And more than that, grumbling is an emotional rejection of God’s will and  providence. It is an emotional rejection of our circumstances and the circumstances God has chosen for our lives and the requirements He has for our conduct.  God hates that and He has judged it severely as an example to us of how He feels about it.

How are you doing in the complaint department?  Watching this three minute video may help you answer this question:

 Shocking Negativity

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