Quit Your Complaining (1)
"The people became like those who complain of adversity." Numbers 11:1 NAS
Listen: "Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord; and...His anger was kindled...and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp" (Nu 11:1 NAS). If that doesn't convince you of how God feels about complaining, nothing will!
"But who am I really hurting when I complain?" (a) Yourself. Complaining leads to anger, bitterness, even depression. God loves you. He doesn't want you hurting yourself. (b) God. Complaining questions His character. It says in effect: "God, you blew it! You had a chance to meet my demands but you chose not to." (c) Others. Nobody enjoys being around a member of the Cold Water Bucket Brigade. Your stinking thinking affects those around you. Have you ever wondered why complaining is so popular, yet it changes nothing? Because it satisfies our selfish nature!
But there's good news. Listen: "The people became like those who complain." Note the word "became"; they developed a way of thinking about things, a way of approaching life. So, if you can become a complainer, then by God's grace you can become a thanks-giver! By acknowledging: "I choose my attitude," it becomes possible to choose a better one. If you're serious about changing, begin to pray: "Lord, I want the landscape of my life to be different; to experience the joy You give to those who leave the wilderness of ingratitude and move into the Promised Land of thanksgiving."
Quit Your Complaining (2)
"Now the people became like those who complain of adversity." Numbers 11:1 NAS
There's a particular kind of complaining that really grates on the ears of God. Listen: "Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the Lord."
For some of us, adversity is a health situation. For others it's a struggling career and continuous job changes. For others it's a family situation that happened years ago, now we shoulder responsibility that seems unfair. Some of us made poor decisions and our marriage fell apart; now we struggle with blended families and the consequences of our choices. We all have to deal with some level of adversity. Each of us has something in our lives that God doesn't want to hear us complain about!
It's hard to live with adversity, but understand this - you forfeit the grace that'll get you through it, when you complain about it. The strength and joy needed to experience victory is available to you, but by choosing to complain or cling to the idol of a perfect life, you forfeit it.
"But what can I do?" Ask yourself two questions: (a) Am I a complainer? Think about that! Why? Because complaining is hard to see in ourselves but easy to see in others. (b) Am I willing to repent? If you're serious about putting this wilderness attitude behind you, think about why you're in the wilderness to begin with. If God reveals complaining as a problem in your life, acknowledge it - then turn from it! Otherwise, expect more wilderness ahead.
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