Purpose Statement

My holy ambition is to bring glory to God through the study of His Word. I am passionate about the observation, interpretation and application of God's Word in our lives.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Complaining and Grumbling

I have been reading a book called "Notes to Self" by Joe Thorn. It is an excellent read. He writes notes to himself on such things as fear, doubt, idolatry and a whole host of other categories. His writing is short but precise.  One chapter that caught my attention is the one called "Stop Complaining." Scripture has much to say about grumbling and never is it called good by God. In fact if we truly believe that God is omniscient He hears every word we speak and even knows the ones we don't.  Thorn says sometimes we want to call it harmless venting.  But such a name is a lie and one that bothers God. Complaining doesn't please the Lord to put it in its most concise summary.

To complain is to undermine God's loving sovereignty in our lives. It is to tell Him that somehow He isn't doing right by us.  God grants many blessings of grace such as life itself.  The minor annoyances that come are way are usually the ones that trip us up the most. With tragedy we typically draw closer to the Lord. But in every day life we get confident in our flesh and are more likely to sweat the small stuff and grumble while we do.  It is also our reactions to the small stuff that most people see day in and day out.  It is hypocritical to say that God handles the big stuff but somehow isn't up to the small things about which we grumble. By bringing the Gospel to bear on every aspect of our lives--small and large--we can respond in ways that honor God.  God has purpose in the inconvenient and petty annoyances; He uses it to transform us into Christlikeness and thus deeper fellowship with the Lord.

1 comment:

Gigi said...

Yes...and so this brings to mind, Paul, as he said "farewell" to the Ephesian elders Acts 20:19-25 (KJV)...(notice he says "but none of these things MOVE ME neither I count my life dear to myself"--emphasis mine).
"Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more." WOW.
And what a "grace"...to learn to be content in all circumstances!
Again, I continue to reflect on the fact that it is the ultimate unbelief when we not only deny His Word to us...but our theology should NEVER stop with ourselves...we should ALWAYS carry it further...all the way to Christ! Therefore, when we functionally deny God's sustaining grace in our trials, it is unbelief, to be sure...but to carry it further and be truly THEOCENTRIC, we must admit unbelief of the Eternal Covenant of Redemption, that the Father promised a people to His Son and that the work the Son began in such a people He WILL complete...up until the day of redemption! So, when we complain, mutter, murmur, we effectively say God has not kept His Holy Word...not only to us, but also to His own Son! Ouch! Yes, indeed, we should honor God with more than just our mouths.
Great post, Wendy! Love you! Gigi