Don’t be a grumbler

(Philippians 2:14-17)

Don’t be a grumbler. Don’t grumble about your situation. Nobody likes a person who grumbles all of the time and even the Lord is not happy with those who are grumblers.

Don't complain and grumble like a child throwing tantrums
Don’t complain and grumble like a child throwing tantrums

But what is grumbling and why is it disliked by people and more importantly, by the Lord?

In this post we will have a look at this issue and also examine some instances where the Lord punished the grumblers.

What is grumbling?

Grumbling is discontent. It is a state in which people complain about something or some situation over which they may or may not have control.

If it is something that is under their control, then rather than grumble they should do something about it.

But if it is outside of their control they must learn how to cope, especially if it is a spiritual matter.

Grumbling is defined in a few different ways and according to one of the online dictionaries at it is defined as:

As a verb (used without object), grumbled, grumbling.

  1. to murmur or mutter in discontent; complain sullenly.
  2. to utter low, indistinct sounds; growl.
  3. to rumble: (e.g. The thunder grumbled in the west.)

As a verb (used with object), grumbled, grumbling.

  1. to express or utter with murmuring or complaining.

As a noun

  1. an expression of discontent; complaint; unhappy murmur; growl.
  2. grumbles, a grumbling, discontented mood.

So all in all we can see that grumbling contains elements of discontent, complaining, dissension, unhappiness with a thing or situation and doing all of these in a noisy, grumpy, and growling manner.

To put it bluntly, grumbling is a negative and unpleasant frame of mind that does not lead to peace, joy or love but rather drains those who are grumbling as well as those around them.

Why is it distasteful to God?

God does not like those who are grumblers because they are wallowing in negative passions of the flesh. They are focused on the flesh and do not have their minds set on the Spirit.

We have been called to Christ to turn away from the passions, lusts and desires of the flesh.

When we grumble we are succumbing to the passions of our flesh and so we are standing opposed to the purpose of our call and thus in a place where the devil can attack us and overwhelm us.

And often when people are grumbling it is due to a feeling of being overwhelmed by a thing, person or situation. They are discontented with their lot in life at that point and want to let EVERYONE know how they feel.

Grumblers spread discontent because they behave like malcontents and are never satisfied. A person who is a constant grumbler leads a life of discontent and they tear other people down, sometimes even influencing them to follow their contrary, grumbling ways.

This is not the way of God. We see how God punished those who were grumblers in the Bible.

9 We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:9-11)

When Moses led the people out of the land of Egypt and set them free from Egyptian slavery, God blessed the people with many blessings. He led them by day and night in a pillar of smoke or fire, He fed them manna from heaven, He allowed it so that in the forty years they wandered the wilderness their clothes would not and did not wear out, He provided water from the rock, He parted the Red Sea so they could escape the Egyptians, and the list goes on.

And yet the people grumbled and complained throughout the journey about their situation. They complained about the manna from heaven and wanted meat to eat. They complained about the leadership of Moses and Aaron and some actually stood against these two men of God. They even complained about their freedom and looked back on their days in Egypt as if they were the “good old days” rather than days of slavery under the whip-hands of the Egyptians.

They were ungrateful grumblers, and as we see in the above scripture, the grumblers were destroyed.

We also see that judgement will come upon all who grumble as quoted in the prophecy of Enoch in the letter of Jude:

14 It was of these also that Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, 15 to execute judgement on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own passions, loud-mouthed boasters, flattering people to gain advantage. (Jude 1:14-16)

As we see here, judgement will come down upon the grumblers because they are malcontents and are following the passions of their flesh rather than following Christ.

We will go through suffering and we are required to lean on Christ in those times, seeking strength from the Lord and not grumbling about how it’s all too hard and life has dealt us a bad hand.

As Christians we will be persecuted and we will go through struggles for the sake of Jesus Christ and what we believe. That is a given.

But we have not been left alone by the Lord. In all situations, no matter how bad, He will and does help us when we take the situation to Him.

What should you do about it?

James stated it quite simply when he wrote:

8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble, brethren, against one another, that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the doors. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. (James 5:8-10)

Do not grumble he said. Even if there is a time and a reason where you might feel like grumbling and complaining…don’t.

We are learning to walk with Christ and when we enter a situation that is difficult, stressful, or just a tough time, that is when we need to lean on the promises of the Lord.

If we grumble we are allowing the situation to control us and allowing our flesh to take control. But when we seek the Lord and walk in the Spirit over the matter we are strengthened and are able to see the situation through, fully knowing and believing that the Lord will carry us through to its conclusion.

When we also remember scripture like the following one, we take heart.

28 We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

When we know and believe that in everything God is working for our good, then we should know that even in the “down” times, it is for our good. The Lord wants us to learn a lesson that will be to our benefit. We may suffer for a little while, but there will be an end to the suffering and God will restore, establish, settle and strengthen us when we rely on His strength rather than our own.

We have been given the Holy Spirit and the ability to walk in the Spirit in all things. If we apply these teachings, setting our minds on the things of the Spirit rather than the things of the flesh, then we have no cause to grumble.

We have not been left to fend for ourselves as some people might think, but the Lord provides us with everything we need to overcome in every situation.

So don’t be a grumbler and malcontent if things aren’t working as you would wish. As I said at the start of this post, no-one likes a grumbler, and the Lord can’t stand grumblers and malcontents. He will judge them harshly as He did the nation of Israel as they wandered the desert after leaving Egypt.

You might also like:

What Will It Cost You To Follow Christ
Not Of This World
Greed Leads To Loss
Thank You Jesus
Why Do Christians Get Sick
The Christian Battle
Serving Jesus
The Peace Of Christ
Speaking In Tongues
Jealousy The Green Eyed Monster
Why We Suffer
Change Your Behaviour
Oops I Did It Again
What Are You Thinking About
Walking In The Spirit
Walking Properly With Christ
Tongues Build Up
Praying In Tongues
Using Tongues Properly
Attitude Of The Heart
My Power Is Made Perfect In Weakness
Walk By The Spirit
How The Power Of The Spirit Can Help You
Overcoming The Passions Of The Flesh

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