Summary: Thanksgiving Sermon

Avoid The Complaint Department

Colossians 3:17

Thanksgiving 2008


* In a few days most of us will be sitting around a table with family and friends eating turkey and pumpkin pie.

* That is, unless you will be celebrating a red-neck thanksgiving…

Humor - You might be a red-neck at Thanksgiving if…

1) You’ve ever had Thanksgiving dinner on a Ping-Pong table.

2) Thanksgiving dinner is squirrel and dumplings.

3) If you have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say

Cool Whip on the side.

4) On Thanksgiving Day you have to decide which pet to eat.

5) Your turkey platter is an old hub cap.

6) Your turkey stuffing’s secret ingredient comes from the bait shop.


* Thanksgiving, if it’s not, it should be one of the most joyous times in our lives.

* Complaining is the very opposite of Thanksgiving.

* Far too many of us are better at complaining than we are at thanksgiving, or giving thanks.

? When was the last time you complained about something or someone?

? This morning? Yesterday? Day before? Last week?

? How many times did you complain in the last week?


* I read a poem about one wife who got fed up with her husbands complaining…

He didn’t like the casserole

And he didn’t like my cake.

My biscuits were too hard…

Not like his mother used to make.

I didn’t perk the coffee right

He didn’t like the stew,

I didn’t mend his socks

The way his mother used to do.

I pondered for an answer

As I was looking for a clue.

Then I turned around and smacked him…

Like his Mother used to do


* Definition - com•plain

1- To express feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment.

2- To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge.

* The average person complains 15-20 times a day.


Humor – I read this week about a guy who joined a monastery and took a vow of silence: he’s allowed to say two words every seven years. After the first seven years, the elders bring him in and ask for his two words. "Cold floors," he says. They nod and send him away. Seven more years pass. They bring him back in and ask for his two words. He clears his throats and says, "Bad food." They nod and send him away. Seven more years pass. They bring him in for his two words. "I quit," he says. "That’s not surprising," the elders say. "You’ve done nothing but complain since you got here."


* We really are prone to complain, aren’t we?

- When our normal routine is interrupted

- When someone disappoints us

- When someone doesn’t live up to our expectation

- When we feel like we have not been treated fairly

- When long and difficult trials come into our lives

- When we suffer, we are prone to complain

- When our circumstances are difficult

- When problems make their way into our lives, we often complain about how bad things are.

? What does the Bible have to say about complaining?

? What does God think about our complaining?

I. Sinfulness of complaining I Cor. 10:10

* Most of us do our share of complaining, but few of us see it for what it is.

* Although we condemn some sins in others, we tolerate our own murmuring as nothing more than a negative attitude.

* But in the Scriptures, God condemns it as a grievous sin.

1Co 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

James 5:9 MSG Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner.

Php 2:14-15 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: (15) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

* Complaining is not just a bad habit; it’s a sinful habit.

* It’s wrong and displeasing to God.

II. Seriousness of complaining

* It’s not like a ho-hum deal,… "so what – he’s a complainer"… "what’s the big deal

1Co 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

* This verse in I Corinthians points back to the story in Numbers 16.

Num 16:41-50 But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD. (42) And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared. (43) And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation. (44) And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, (45) Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces. (46) And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun. (47) And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. (48) And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. (49) Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. (50) And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.

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