Words in Excess: Complaining

Did you know that grumbling and arguing will cause you to make terrible decisions? The Book of James talks about that.

“Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look! The Judge is standing at the door! For examples … look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord!” (James 5:9-10).

In other words, the Bible is saying, God’s presence is here. He knows what is going on more than we do and He is going to be in control over everything. So, if we want to know the devastating effects of grumbling, look at the prophets or look at the history of Israel. We will see how devastating grumbling can be.

We all know the people of Israel had grumbling, arguing and complaining down to a science. They left Egypt and the first thing they did was grumble, complain and talk bad about others. Because of that, God rejected them from entering the Promised Land.

God is saying not grumbling is that crucial because grumbling and complaining does something to our spirit. It causes our spirit to be not open, but closed to the things of God so that we do not recognize what is going on. God is saying to be very careful.

God is not saying to be ignorant about problems and to do nothing about them. He isn’t saying don’t look at them or make believe that they don’t exist. No, we have to rectify problems but it is how you rectify them that will make the difference.

We have a problem. We can grumble, argue and complain or we can with patience ask God for wisdom, knowledge and understanding. If we have a problem there are two ways to resolve it: grumble, argue and complain or, with patience, ask God for wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

How then do we reduce our dependence on complaining?

  1. Be Convinced of its Destructive Power

We must not just know, but we must be convinced of its destructive power.

“… don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the destroyer. These things happened to them as an example [and] they were written for our instruction” (1 Cor. 10:10-11).

God said do not grumble as some did and were destroyed by the destroyer. An entrance is made for the destroyer who takes what is already going bad and makes it worse. We have to be convinced of his destructive power. It is our complaining that opens the door to add a spiritual dark dimension to what we are already wrestling with.

  1. Live Intentionally

How do we reduce that dependency on complaining? We have to live intentionally. Great lives do not happen automatically; they take place intentionally.

That is why we are going to hear certain commands in the Bible. God does not give suggestions or options. He gives commands because He knows great lives are only built intentionally.

  1. Keep Yourself Accountable

“Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves …” (2 Cor. 13:5).

Live intentionally. Write down your goals and check them off. I want you to develop a system of intentionality as well because the default is so destructive. It is like cancerous melanoma if you keep defaulting. Keep yourself accountable.

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