Derek Plegge  |  August 7th, 2020

Refusing to grumble

Most would agree that 2020 has been a very challenging year. There is civil unrest, political unrest, skepticism of the news, and on top of all that there is a worldwide pandemic. It appears that our country is on fire and it only seems to be getting worse. There is talk that coronavirus is going to hit harder in the fall and we have another election right around the corner. I hate to say it but the divide only seems like it is going to widen.

Along with everything that has happened, I want to ask you a question. Have you been grumbling and complaining? I must confess I have! My plans have been altered and disrupted. Our Colorado trip got canceled, youth group was moved to completely online, I am tired of not seeing friends in person, I am frustrated every time I wear a mask because it is so uncomfortable, and the list goes on and on. I am sure many of you can relate to me as you may be complaining about some of the same things or other inconveniences.

Should we be okay though as Christians to being grumblers and complainers? God’s Word tells us no. Philippians 2:14 says, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” I don’t know how you feel after reading that verse but it is very convicting. I want to give you three points to consider as we think about fighting against the temptation to grumble in this chaotic time.

The first point is that you are honoring God when you refuse to grumble or complain. Paul continues in Philippians 2:15 saying, “… 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.” God is pleased when His children, those who have turned from their sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ, choose joy over complaining. He is pleased when we refuse to complain about frustrating situations. Let us worship God by refusing to bicker about all that is transpiring around us.

The second point is that you are going to stand out like a light in this world if you resist grumbling. The world around us is constantly complaining about something. It can be about anything these days. Just scroll through your social media feeds and you will see how much people are complaining. Believers are called to not follow this trend. We have been called to be salt and light (Matt 5:13-16). That means we are to be distinct and set apart from those who are not followers of Jesus. One way to be distinct is through not complaining. Do not buy into the lie that since everyone around me is doing it I might as well. It can be hard to hold back the grumblings, but remember that you are called to be a light and therefore be different for God’s glory. So let’s be careful how we talk about the issues around us and what we post on social media. That does not mean you cannot have opinions and disagree with how certain things are being handled, but we have been called to hold back our anger and be careful with how we use our words.

The third point is to follow the example of Jesus Christ. There were many challenges that He faced; persecution, rejection, mockery, crucifixion, and much more. During all of that, He never grumbled or complained. Instead, He submitted to the Father’s will. 1 Peter 2:14 says, “When He [Jesus] was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” We need to have the same mindset as Christ in which we willingly and humbly submit to the Father’s will. Can the situations that we face individually and collectively be confusing and challenging? Absolutely! However, let’s entrust ourselves to God who is in total control of all things.

So will you join me in fighting off the temptation of grumbling and complaining? Let it be a testimony to those around us of the work that God is doing in our lives.