“I wish you made more money so we could go on a nice vacation.” “Why do you have to work so much? I need you to help me more at home!”
“I can’t wait to have children and be a mom.” “These kids are driving me crazy! I’m so tired of all the clutter and noise that kids make. Maybe I should go back to work.”
Having just read through the book of Numbers and Deuteronomy, I have been trying to be more aware of the subtle working of grumbling in my life, which inevitably happens when I stop looking at the beauty and goodness of Christ and focus on the trials and difficulties of life. As I mentioned in my last post, grumbling is not something we can afford to ignore. So let’s continue looking at why, as believers, we should get rid of grumbling, as well as pursuing some strategies that can lead us to victory.
Grumbling reveals unbelief in God’s faithfulness and sovereign control over all the affairs of His creation. When we complain about another snowstorm, insufficient finances, a difficult relationship, or other circumstances we dislike, we forget that God rules over each one of these things. When we blame our leaders, singleness, endless debt, or the man we married for our unhappiness, we have failed to recognize that our biggest problem is the sin within us. The Bible says that grumbling against others or the things God’s allowed is grumbling against Him! It reveals that deep down we believe God’s plan is inferior to our own. Only when we rest in His sovereignty over our lives will we find the joy and peace that otherwise eludes us.
A Strategy for Victory: Remember God’s faithfulness and accept that what He allows is part of His good and wise purposes for your life. Living in a fallen world requires us to learn how to live in the tension between the “what is” and “what will one day be”. Scripture instructs us to fight against sin using every resource God has given us. Prayer, for example, allows us to express our fears and concerns to God without giving way to sin. But when we have prayed, trusted, and stood firm, there will still be times when we must simply choose to accept what we cannot change.
Amy Carmichael said, “In acceptance lies peace.” I have found that finding peace in difficult circumstances is only possible when we acknowledge God’s unfailing love and commitment to us, along with His sovereign rule over whatever touches our lives.
Grumbling is contagious. A grumbling spirit can infect a home, a church, a workplace, and a nation. When people groan about the authorities God has placed over us, they not only make leadership a greater burden, but, as Hebrews 13:17 says, it is of no advantage to us! Telling our husband all the ways he fails to please us will do little to motivate him to become the man we long for him to be. Grumbling is infectious and its undercurrent is not only a snare to others but shows disregard for the costly sacrifice of the Cross.
A Strategy for Victory: Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:10). We are told to flee temptation and not to be a stumbling block to others. Christ calls us to be set apart, reflecting a heart of gratitude for His kindness to us. The best way to walk by the Spirit and forsake the sin we are often prone to make little of is by remembering what those “little” sins cost our Savior.
Grumbling does not become us as beloved daughters of Christ. When we were orphans, we had a reason to act like orphans, but now we are daughters of the King! When we take up grumbling against one another, our leaders, or in regards to our circumstances, we fail to point the world to a loving Father who has promised to bless His children for all eternity.
A Strategy for Victory: Be imitators of God as beloved children. (Ephesians 5:1) When we find ourselves acting more like orphans than daughters, we must remember who we are in Christ. His Son lived the perfectly righteous life we could not live, and paid the penalty for our unbelief, rebellion, ingratitude, and self-worship, setting us free from the power sin and death once held over us. As new creations in Christ and grateful recipients of redemption, we should want nothing to do with grumbling or sin of any kind.
“For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8: 2-4).
Let’s purpose to exchange grumbling for a mouth of praise and gratitude for what Christ has done on our behalf. Grumbling simply doesn’t look good on those who are God’s daughters and fellow heirs with Christ.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well!