Worry and Complaining
Matt.6:24-26 - No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Take no thought, or another words, do not worry. The practice of worry stems from a reliance upon things and circumstances other than God, and a discontent with the present and a fear of the future. Verse 24 teaches that worry is the result of a compromise in who is our Master. Worry is an issue of the heart but is usually revealed by the mouth.
I Cor.10:10 - Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Phil.2:13-15 - For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Jude 16 - These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
So worry begins with doubt and fear and is complimented by complaining and murmuring. To have uncompromised faith, rest, and peace in our Heavenly Father is an attitude that unbelievers cannot fathom or understand. In fact, it is called the “peace that passes all understanding”. It is part and parcel of the reason why the lost wonder about the hope which lies within us. But so often professing believers exhibit much the same sentiments as do the unbelievers.
Millions of believers listen to talk radio and watch talk television in which the host and guests complain and murmur and criticize throughout the entire program. Whether it be about the president, or Muslims, or gays, or the economy, or any number of things, their core message is filled with words that create discontent, worry, a critical spirit, and a sense of entitlement. By entitlement I mean that discontent reveals that we believe we deserve better.
It is quite a spectacle when a sinner receives eternal life as a gift, and receives the eternal companionship of Jesus Himself, and exhibits attitudes and speaks words that seem to indicate he wants more. How can Jesus radiate His glory in and through us if we murmur and complain and worry? We say we believe that God is in control, but then we so often attempt to manipulate circumstances in the flesh, all the while wringing our hands and speaking words of doubt and discontent to anyone who will listen. And the reasons for such worry and complaining are varied, but usually center around health, rebellious children, and the supreme idol of all - money. Of course there are others such as politicians, government issues, and earthly freedoms that are either restricted to us or immorally offered to others.
The truth is that the church should be a beacon of the good news and should never join in with the worriers and complainers. We in the west are significantly spoiled and we have become accustomed to having our desires met - quickly! Have you ever spoken to a Haitian believer? Or an African believer? They exhibit such humility and gratitude even when their lifestyles are something about which we could never endure. Why? Because they have not been jaded and assimilated into a culture that expects and demands certain amenities that we call “blessings”.
How many believers worry and complain during the week about their employers, their finances, the political environment, their cars, their health, and then march into church on Sundays and sing praises unto God? How many of those praises reach God’s throne room? How can we act and speak like the world, but gather on Sundays and claim we are different, and not be revealed as hypocrites? The truth is that we have become so accustomed to worry and complaining that it has become a part of our lifestyle and we feel no conviction about it. That is a spiritual tragedy.
Our minds should be fixated upon Him, and our hearts should be filled with unspeakable contentment and praise for all He has done and all He will do. Listen to the average prayer request session. When a believer loses his job it demands much prayer and intercession, but when a believer gets a raise it is God’s blessing. In effect we draw the lines between blessing and cursing financially. Do we stop to think that God has a plan and is in control?
Believers follow the current political charades without realizing that it compromises their minds, grieves the Holy Spirit, and slowly but surely draws their attention to things that do not edify or manifest Christ. And given enough time, you will grow to dislike liberals or conservatives depending on which side you take. It is all so unbecoming to a believer and eventually dilutes his commitment to Jesus Christ.
There is spiritual freedom in contentment and a divine acceptance of God sovereignty and control.
Col.3:1-3 - If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Wow! I would dare say that if those were the only discipleship verses we had they should lead us to be living epistles. All the promises are yea dn amen in Him. He must be the source and destination of all our affections, and if so, what could cause us discontentment and distress? It is His love and His presence that should draw our hearts, and we should be actively cultivating a more robust and meaningful relationship with Christ. And when we experience that kind of relationship, we should guard it with our very lives and not allow the thorns and thistles of earthly things to choke out the glory of His presence.
All of us will at some point come up short and allow certain things to invade the space in our hearts that should belong to Him, but with quick and sincere repentance we can be fully restored. But it is those things about which we have become familiar and fail to recognize the negative spiritual impact upon our hearts that should concern us. I hope and pray that we all take another inventory concerning the things about which we care, the things we speak, and the things that cause us worry. As things wax worse and worse, believers will be forced to make large decisions. Will we worry and complain, or will we rest completely in Him?
Turn your eyes upon Jesus and you will see, “He does all things well”!