After high school, I worked in a huge plant that employed thousands. Four gals from my high school worked there also, so we began sharing lunch breaks. However, one of them was constantly negative. Nearly everything out of her mouth was a complaint about something or someone, and it had a negative effect on the others in the group. It was depressing just listening to it all. After nearly a week, I decided I simply wouldn’t be around them any more.
God’s children of faith are not immune to a complaining spirit. When Moses was sent back to Egypt to deliver Israel out of cruel slavery, the Israelites repeatedly complained. Even a chance at freedom should have brought appreciation. But after finally being miraculously released, Israel murmured (meaning “to grumble”) against Moses when Pharaoh’s armies pursued them. Later “the people murmured against Moses” over a lack of water (Ex. 15:24). Then while in “the wilderness of Sin,” they murmured over a lack of food (16:1-4). It had become a pattern of life.
When God promised victory over the inhabitants in Canaan, they once again murmured in disbelief that God would give the victory (Num. 14). God’s anger was so kindled that an entire generation, except for Joshua and Caleb, perished without seeing the Promised Land. Paul refers to this in 1 Corinthians 10:10 warning the believers: “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.”
Complaining is a dangerous, negative habit. It embitters the soul, sours the spirit, ignores the rich blessings of God, and robs one of the joy of life. It also unnecessarily makes life miserable for those around us, becomes a poor testimony to the lost, and poisons our outlook on life. Perhaps, worst of all, it spreads like an outbreak of the flu to others, who, in turn, mirror this negativity.
Simply put, God hates a complaining spirit. Paul warns the saints at Philippi saying, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked…nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:14-15). It is not possible for us to be blameless before the Lord nor man if we have a complaining spirit. Ask someone today to hold you accountable any time you are being negative, then purposely practice being positive in your speech and outlook.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.