Murmuring and Complaining
I Cor.10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Phil.2: 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That 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.
There is a distinct difference between correction within the church and complaining about things outside the church. And these verses expose the carnal nature of complaining and what the Scriptures refer to as murmuring. It is unbecoming a follower of Jesus to complain about earthly situations, especially when his complaints concern his own financial well being. It reveals a lack of trust in the Lord as well as a selfish view of the conditions in which God has placed that believer.
Correction within the church is both necessary and essential to the well being of the body. We all need to be challenged, corrected, and even disciplined by God’s Spirit. And the correction must be firm but yet loving. Those who God loves He corrects. But when we correct we must do it in a spirit of humility even when we sternly rebuke false teachers. Let us not forget that we ourselves must step forward and receive correction in the hopes of being molded into the image of Christ.
To complain about the economy, or the government, or certain politicians, or almost anything is to exhibit a discontented spirit as well as an argument with God’s plan for your life.
I Thess.5:18- In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
This verse doesn’t just forbid us to complain, it openly commands us to give thanks in all circumstances. It relies heavily upon the sovereignty of God. Do we expect the lost sinners to act Biblically or the kingdom of darkness to comply with the Word of God? And when the kingdom of darkness acts like the kingdom of darkness do we murmur and complain? And if we complain about the president or about the liberals or about gas prices or about illegal immigrants, do we not cast an open aspersion against the sovereignty and wisdom of our Heavenly Father?
And why, pray tell, do we not complain about food prices in Russia? Why don’t we murmur against the government in Malaysia? Why do we not speak against the repressive regime in Tibet? We do not complain and murmur about those things because they do not affect US! How selfish! How narcissistic! Can you not see how unchristian it all is? If it affects us and especially our pocketbooks or our earthly freedoms we complain loudly and even applaud unsaved conservative voices who mutter the same complaints. And where is the salt and light in that?
I guess it would be too much to ask for us to give thanks in all that, but at least we could close our carnal lips and head to our prayer closets. In fact, the verse right before that 18th verse says “Pray without ceasing” and then comes the admonition to give God thanks in all things. The implication is obvious. Complainers do not pray. They may go through the motions, but they do not make spiritual contact with Christ.
Heb.12:Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Consider Him, says the Spirit. He endured the contradiction of sinners against His sinless life and we cannot endure high gas prices or a liberal president? How often to we open the gates to our flesh and allow it to flow freely from our hearts and mouths? And in that we do exactly what the world does. We mimic the lost man but enjoy a good Sunday morning worship and on Monday we once again pick up where we left off last week. How pitiful!
People all over the world are hungry and thirsty and rot in unjust prisons and yet we murmur and complain about our circumstances? And you who idolize democracy, why do you complain when the person that you did not vote for gets elected? Do you now despise democracy until your candidate gets in? You see, when you participate in an fallen system your heart becomes vested and it affects your emotions. Again - your heart becomes vested.
If we only rejoice and give thanks when things go our way then we do what the heathen do. Where is the difference between a follower of Jesus and a rejecter of Jesus if they both react the same way in similar circumstances? And in the midst of this carnal carousel we claim to the lost that we have eternal life and yet complain about things here on earth? What hypocrites we are!
We have so, so much for which to be grateful. God has given to us life eternal and a home in the very presence of the Risen Christ! How can we tarnish such a gift by getting entangled with the affairs of this world and by allowing our lips to speak things unsavory and counter to the spirit of Christ? We must endeavor to let Him live and speak through us at all times. Place a guard before your mouth and allow only that which is of Him to proceed from your lips.
With the wickedness all around us and the darkness only increasing, this is a divine opportunity to let our light so shine before men. But that cannot happen if we allow our lives to be lived just like those who know not Christ. It is not just the immoral or the drug user or the drunk that is worldly. It is also that man who engages in the systems of this world and joins in with unbelievers and attempts to change his surroundings so he can live a more prosperous life. That man is worldly and carnal as well.
Col.4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Jam.3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Remember, out of the heart the mouth speaks.