No grumbling allowed
By Don Morris, Mission USA Director
It is so easy for me to grumble. I find myself grumbling about a lot of things that are totally out of my control. As I write this Oklahoma is enduring the hottest summer on record. Daytime temperatures have often hit 110 degrees. Along with the heat, one can almost hear the collective wail of every person in Oklahoma: “It is sooooo hot!” “Can you believe how hot it is?” “We’re burning to a crisp!” “Even the swimming pool has hot water in it now!” Grumbling.
Another thing I find myself grumbling about is our government’s handling of the nation’s finances. No, it’s not a pretty picture, and it’s easy to be frustrated. More grumbling. “How can they do this to us?”
I grumble when I have to get up early. I grumble when I have to mow the lawn—again. I grumble when the electric bill comes. I grumble when my wife doesn’t see things my way. I think I have a pretty good case for my grumbling, don’t you?
The Apostle Paul breaks into my reasonable grumbling with some words of wisdom. He writes, “Do everything without grumbling (emphasis added) or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Phil. 2:14-16).
Great. Out the window flies my righteous grumbling. And there are other passages referring to grumbling. God simply doesn’t like it. Instead, God wants us to focus on what’s truly important as we follow him. And when we do that, it’s not as easy to fall into grumbling.
Even when it’s 110 degrees outside, God wants us to focus on being salt and light. Even when things aren’t going quite right in some area of my life, God wants me to pray for people who don’t yet know him or who are going through a tough situation. Even when I think I have a suitable case for being in a grumbling mood, God is looking to me for fellowship with him. Even when things look bleak, God wants me to see all the good things he’s providing and to focus on those.
For me, it’s also easy to grumble when I compare my ministry with the one across town that has thousands of people attending and that attracted 2,800 people the first Sunday their new campus was opened. “Why can’t we have that happen for us too, God?” Grumbling. God doesn’t like it.
What does God seek instead? For us to love him and to serve him with the right attitude—without grumbling. Paul reminds us of this with these words from Romans: “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Zeal. Fervor. Serving the Lord. No grumbling allowed. “But Lord, have you stepped outside today? It’s boiling out there and….”
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