by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith
“Must you always complain!” I wanted to say. There I was again, listening to another person who seemed to have the spiritual gift of complaining. This one was taking it to an art form!
“Now the when people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, the Lord heard it and his anger was kindled. Then the fire of the Lord burned against them, and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.” Numbers 11:1 (New Revised Standard Version)
How often do we forget that the Lord hears all, including our complaining. Even less often do we think about the emotional response our complaining brings to the Lord. Here, we discover that our complaining kindles the anger of the Lord!
As the redeemed, we are to be different! We are to have a spirit about us that personifies …
“the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17 (New King James Version)
One of the keys to this spirit of wisdom is expressed by Paul when he says …
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Philippians 4:11 Emphasis mine. (New King James Version)
When the cancer of complaining infects to true Christ-follower, we must admit it is not pretty! Yet we are able to change our perspective and focus our attitudes! That is the difference that separates us from the unredeemed. We have the Holy Spirit’s supernatural presence and power to transform us.
“A drowning man does not complain about the size of a life preserver.” When I read this quote several years ago I was reminded that any time I complain I am simply ungrateful! Ungrateful to God for His wisdom and will in my life. Like the current cliché, “All I need is some cheese to go with my whine!”
My youngest daughter, Hannah, collects the Eeyore character, out of the Winnie the Pooh cartoons. She has several of them. Best known for his “gloom and doom” spirit, Eeyore always sees the gray cloud in every silver lining!
How often do we, as the children of God, draw the rain clouds about us? Whining and complaining begins to take its toll on us. People no longer stop by. After all, who wants to spend their time under a rain cloud? Pretty soon, we find our list of friends smaller than the number of fingers on our right hand. Or as John Peers puts it, “The squeaky wheel doesn’t always get greased; it often gets replaced!”
Consider yourself for a moment. Do you claim the Name of Jesus? Then another thought if you would. Do you possess an attitude of gratitude or are you caught in a rumbling of grumbling?
Perhaps you will be as warned from our Father who is “the same yesterday, today and forever” as I was when I read these words:
“The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above.” Numbers 14:29 (New King James Version)
Beware the cancer of complaining! Surely Lucifer is afoot! Instead …
“draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8 (New King James Version)
If you will, then it will be said of you …
“the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52 (New King James Version)
To God be the glory!