We’ve all heard that God sees all sin as equal. Well that’s not exactly true. Yes it’s all bad, but he calls some sins an abomination and there were only 10 Commandments- not every sin is mentioned in that list. And there are some things that we accept as normal, part of our every day lives, but God doesn’t like them.
Does God have a pet peeve? I think so. Wanna know what I think it is? Complaining.
Without throwing a bunch of scriptures at you, let me give you a few examples. The Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years… and complained the whole stinking time. Some of it was stuff that we would consider every-day, “normal” complaining. The weather was hot. There was sand in everything. They were living in tents. They ate the same foods every day with no variety. The scenery was getting boring. There was no water. They were just complaining about the nitty gritty hardships of living and traveling in the desert. Most of us would think of these as “normal”. We would have posted these complaints on our facebook status and never considered them to be a sin, but we see that they angered God so much that he sent fire from Heaven to consume some of them! Clearly even this kind of “normal” complaining makes God seriously angry. He got sick of those guys!
We don’t think complaining is such a big deal because we are surrounded by it all the time. Unless it’s directed at us, we hardly notice it. But God is not indifferent to our complaining. He takes it really seriously. In Phil. 2:14 we are commanded “Do all things without complaining and contention.” And 1 Cor. 10:10 commands us not to “grumble as some of them (The Israelites) did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.”
When we complain, there is a deeper root of sin that is present. Complaining is like the runners that spread the sin around. Think about it this way. We believe that God is sovereign. We know that the Lord always has good reasons for sending hardships our way. When we become discontent with how God is managing things, we show that we do not trust God. We show that we don’t believe that He is in control or, even worse, we don’t believe that he is a Good God. In our pride, we think that we know what is best for us, we can conceive of a better way of doing things, and we degrade God into a pitiful, weakling who doesn’t care about us as much as we care about ourselves. “God knows that complaining is an expression of our pride, and not only pride in general, but more specifically, arrogance against God Himself.” ALL OF THAT IS CALLED BLASPHEMY. And that is why complaining is a sin- because it has its roots in blasphemy.
In the Old Testament, God sent fire to consume the complaining Israelites. Under the New Covenant of Grace, God doesn’t burn us up with fire but He sends dryness into our souls. Our spirits become a dry and barren, scorched land. Ever tried to use a dry sponge to soak up a spill. A dry sponge just pushes the mess along, only a damped sponge can soak up the liquid. Our spirits can get dry and unable to soak up God’s goodness, his Word, or his blessings. We just don’t take it in. Our complaining has dried out our spirit.
So how do you stop complaining?
First, Speak God’s words. Start memorizing scriptures that confirm God’s goodness to you. Repeat these good words rather than spewing your spirit sucking complaints. Second, Be thankful in ALL circumstances. Good and bad, God has sent these circumstances to you for a reason. Thank God for everything. Third, Do something good for someone less fortunate than you. When you see the circumstances of homeless people or poor people or people living in a third world country you will realize all that you have. You really are blessed! Counting your blessings is the quickest way to saturate your spirit with the goodness that God shows to you every day. Soak it up!! The goodness is everywhere, every day. Quench your thirsty soul with thankfulness.