Summary: Called to serve, believers cannot afford to have an attitude of complaining or grumbling but it should be one of gratitude and service!
Date Written: January 31, 2001
Date Edited: May 21, 2003
Date Preached: January 31, 2001
May 21, 2003
Church: BBC (PM) Wed Night
OZHBC (PM) Wed Night
Series: Great Imperatives for the Christian Walk
Title: The Imperative Regarding Grumbling
Text: Phil 2:14-15
“…Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,…”
A politician once met an emigrant from Russia. "I guess you left Russia because you wanted more freedom,"
"No, I had plenty of freedom," replied the Russian. "I could not complain."
"Then it must be that there were no opportunities in Russia," the politician said.
"I had opportunities!" the Russian insisted. "I could not complain."
"Was it that you could not find a nice place to live?"
"Not at all. I had a beautiful apartment. I could not complain."
The politician looked confused. "If everything was fine in Russia, why did you come to America?"
"Aha!" the Russian chortled. "Here I can complain!"
In America we believe that it is our “God given right” to be able to complain, and we DO have freedom of speech in this nation. The problem comes when people do not understand that freedom of speech does not guarantee that anyone has to listen to you.
So with that in mind, here is something I want us all to remember before we burden other people with our troubles.
Half of the people we want to tell aren’t the least bit interested in our complaints, and the rest are happy that you’re finally getting what they think is coming to you!
We have no more right to put our discordant states of mind into the lives of those around us and rob them of their sunshine and brightness than we to enter their houses and steal their silverware.
- Julia Moss Seton
In looking at Webster’s definition I find it tells us that to complain means:
to nit pick,
find fault or
to object to a certain situation or set of circumstances.
I have also found that the very opposite of complaining or grumbling is PRAISE!
Let me ask you this evening…
Are you a grumbler or complainer?
Do you complain towards God?
Do you gripe about your family situation or whine about your fellow church members or co-workers?
Now while I believe that we all do this to a certain extent, I believe that in tonight’s passage the Apostle Paul is going to address that issue to the church in Philippi. But for good reason. The church is Philippi had become a haven for complaining and grumbling, and Paul wanted them to see past mere life circumstances and see what God had done, was doing and would continue to do.
Tonight I want us to look at what Paul said about this subject by taking these 2 verses of Scripture and breaking them apart and looking at what they have to say.
First I want us to look at the areas where we should or should not grumble or complain.
Let’s notice what Paul said in the very first part of this verse…
“…do ALL things without grumbling or disputing…”
If we look at what Paul says here, where or what in our lives do we have the right to complain or grumble about?
If you read this as I do, you’re answer will be the same as mine…we DON’T have the right to complain or grumble! It does not matter what goes on in our lives we do not have the right to complain or grumble.
This verse goes hand in hand with the faith that we claim so boldly every time we read Scripture such as Phil 4:13 where Paul says, “…I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength…”
Or when we read Romans 8:28 when Paul writes, “…God works ALL things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose…”
Or when we read later in that very chapter when Paul writes, “…if God be for us, then who can be against us…”
There are many other passages in the Bible that we can turn to and claim the promise that Christ will always be there to meet our needs and make things all right. However, the key factor to remember here is, “Do I believe what I read in my Bible and what I hear preached from the pulpit?”
Can we truly go to our prayer closet and tell God that we want to do His will and that we trust in Him completely…and still complain and grumble? We can, but how effective of a life could we live before our co-workers, or family?