We live in a culture that is very discontented. Complaining happens every time there is a line, traffic, weather, bad service at the restaurant, when it is Monday, waking up early, trouble connecting with Wi-Fi, litter, and the like.
We talk about the culture complaining, but the truth is we all participate in it. It doesn’t just happen in the culture, but in the church. There is complaining about the preaching, the service, and every other possible issue.
Research reveals that the average person complains between 15-30 times a day.
What’s so odd about living in such an unhappy culture is that materialistically we have more than ever before. We are still discontent, and even more discontent than those who have gone before us. The world around us constantly tells us that we will not be happy without more.
This can lead to a never ending pursuit of the next thing that will never leave us satisfied. This is why the text today is so important. Look at the verses.
(14) Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
The first complainer on the earth was Adam.
(12) And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Another well-known complainer was Cain.
(13) And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
He had murdered his brother and complained about the consequences.
Moses complained about God’s timeline for saving the children of Israel.
(22) And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?
(23) For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.
The Children of Israel complained in the wilderness. 3 days after miraculously crossing the Red Sea they complained about not having enough to drink.
(24) And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
The spies that entered the promised land caused the majority to side with their complaining position.
(2) And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
Do you remember 1 Corinthians 10:10 from our reading this week? They talked about the children of Israel in the wilderness.
1 Corinthians 10:10
(10) Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
What was the apostle Paul referring to in this verse? You can read about that in Numbers 11:1.
(1) And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
In the next verse in 1 Corinthians 10:11a God tells us why this story was in there.
1 Corinthians 10:11
(11) Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
All of these Old Testament stories are given to us an example of what not to do. Sometimes what we learn is what we should not be doing. God does not like complaining.
There are a couple of lessons we can learn about God and Complaining.
Lesson #1. God hears our complaining.
(12) I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.
Lesson #2- God is the ultimate object of our complaining.
(8) And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.
God does not have anything positive to say about complaining. This is especially true about those of us who know Christ as Savior.
(9) Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
Now back to our text.
(14) Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
The Greek word translated “murmurings” speaks to mumbling frustrations under their breath. It was a word that was used when something was unpleasant, inconvenient, disappointing, or undeserved. The word implies an emotional response.
The word “disputings” implies a mental response. It speaks to questioning, and doubting.
Don’t forget what we talked about last week. It’s easy to look at the verse by itself and talk about complaining in general, but remember the context.
We were taught in verse 12 and 13 to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We are not saved by good works but to good works. The best word that speaks to our living out our salvation is the word obedience. Just like Jesus exemplified obedience, we are to follow in obedience. The result of this obedience is spiritual growth and Christlikeness. We do our part, and God produces Christlikeness and spiritual growth in our own lives.
The Christian life is full of ups and downs. Things do not always go the way we would want. Bad things happen to good people. There are good times and bad times. We will have mountain tops and we will have valley’s. We will laugh and rejoice. We will have times of heart ache. When you are going through the deep valley we need Paul’s reminder. “Do all things without murmurings or disputings.”
When you are going through the unpleasant things of life, those things that are not very convenient, those things that you feel are a disappointment, or those things that are undeserved, we must not complain and continue to obey without complaining.
Don’t complain. Continue to obey!
God did not promise us an easy life, but He did promise to go through life with us. He did promise salvation in the next.
If you are a believer, are you a complainer? Repent and go the other way.
If you do not know Christ as Savior, or that you will go to heaven when you die, check out this page, and fill out the form below so we can help you make this very important spiritual decision.