As we in the United States of America recently celebrated our independence and our provision of free speech, we heard many people using the occasion to grumble about one thing or another. Granted many things have changed in the country since the signing of the declaration of independence but before you grumble, and tear down consider this question: “Have you prayed for our country and for our leaders?”
1 Timothy 2:1–4 (ESV) — 1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
It’s a fact that many of the people who gripe and complain the loudest don’t even vote, let alone pray. So when you hear people complain ask them if they vote, then ask them if they have prayed today for their country and their leaders. It’s amazing what prayer can do in keeping us within the bounds of Scripture. This is especially true when it comes to the church. Many people seem to have an unfulfilled agenda about which they murmur and complain. Everything from the pastor’s sermon length, to various aspects of the worship service, to conditions in the building. Well, you name it and it’s an object of criticism. But wait!
Have you ever noticed what the Scripture teaches?
Philippians 2:14–16 (ESV) — 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
When you grumble and complain you are NOT blameless because you are NOT shining as a light in the world. Whoa! Not only that but when you grumble and complain you make life very difficult for the leaders God has set in place for His purpose.
Hebrews 13:7–8 (ESV) — 7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:17 (ESV) — 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
When you murmur and complain, your leaders find leading you a real strain and that is not profitable for you because they are watching out for you. Consider the many times recorded in the book of Exodus that the people grumbled and complained to Moses about various conditions, about his leadership, and about their disagreement about the way things were headed. God took that complaining against Moses as against Him which did not please Him at all.
Exodus 16:2–3 (ESV) — 2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
Exodus 16:8 (ESV) — 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”
Now think about it. Does grumbling and complaining do any good at all? Wouldn’t it be best to take your complaint directly to the source of everything, the God of heaven and earth? In doing so, you do what I call “dump the cup.” As if you are holding out a cup to God to fill with blessing but it’s filled with the crud of complaining but when we offer that to God as an honest complaint, we are dumping the cup for which He is looking for that empty cup to fill and over flow with His blessing.
Think of how that applies to your church life and to your life within the nation. Have you prayed and done your part to make it better, including using a cup full of God’s blessing to overflow to those around you? Better to overflow with blessing than murmuring and complaining!
Check out The PowerBreak Podcast wherever you download podcasts or via our website. There are weekly discussions of PowerBreak concepts and interesting interviews with stories of perseverance to help you succeed in the race of life.