Summary: An exhortation to control complaining
A man dreamed of joining a monastery. His goal in life was to become a monk. So one day he went to a monastery and talked to the head monk and said, “What do I need to do to join.” Was told that it was more difficult that what he thought. In our monastery monks are only allowed to say two words every year.” He said, “That sounds a bit extreme, but I’ve wanted to be a monk for so long, I’m going to give it a try.” So he was shown to his room. And so for the next twelve months the man never said a word. At the end of his first year he was taken to the head monk, and was told he could now say his two words. Guy said, “Food’s bad.” He went back to his room, and was silent for another twelve months. At the end of his second year he again was taken to the head monk for his two words. This time his two words were, “Bed’s hard.” Head monk said, “OK.” And the man went back to his room. Another twelve months of silence passed, and he was brought again to the head monk for his annual two words. This time the guy said, “I quit.” The head monk said, “Well, it doesn’t surprise me. All you’ve done is complain ever since you got here.”
We all have had reasons in our life to complain about something. The questions is… did we yield to the temptation?
Answer some important questions about complaining:
1. Is complaining always wrong? 2. What is complaining? 3. What does God think about it? 4. How does it affect those around us?
Text: Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Proposition: Understanding why Complaining is unacceptable Christian Behavior.
1. Complaining is displeasing to the heart of God- Demonstrate through a brief chronology of the nation of Israel’s wilderness journey how complaining is displeasing to God. Numbers 11:1-10.
a. What is complaining? We may know it by different terms -- such as griping, grumbling, whining, or belly-aching. In the King James Version of the Bible, the common term used was “murmuring.” But regardless of the word we use to describe it, complaining always has the same symptoms. The dictionary defines it as “an expression of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, or discontent.” Complaining is the outward expression of discontent from within.
b. What makes complaining a so Displeasing to the Lord? :
i. Because it is a statement of discontent about my life- When I complain I am drawing a circle around my life. And, when I take a look inside my circle what do I say? This is not good enough. The people of Israel were saying Our God is not big enough, He is not caring enough. But, what do we do when bad circumstances do come our way?
I must resist the temptation to look for the negatives in my life. A chronic complainer seems to just seek to find the negative in everything. A lady who was an incurable grumbler complained about everything and everybody. But, finally, the minister thought he had found something about which she could make no complaint: the old lady’s crop of potatoes was certainly the finest for miles around. “Ah, for once you must be pleased,” he said with a beaming smile as he met her in the village street. “Everyone is saying how splendid your potatoes are this year.” The old lady glared at him as she answered, “They are not so bad, but where are the rotten ones for the pigs?”
Transition: We must learn that when we complain it is not is it a sin that is displeasing to God, but much more is at stake; when I complain I Stain the image of God
2. Complaining is destructive to the image of God- We need to understand that those who do personally know Christ, only have one way of evaluating the reality of His goodness, His power, His very existence. They evaluate God according to you and me. Because we say we know him. Our lives become a window to the very image of God. When I claim to be a Christian yet my speech is littered with constant complaining what will those who hear me say of the God I claim to know? If that is what it means to be a Christian, then what am I missing?