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Complaining hurts people. Plain and simple, being discontent destroys not just your own life but it impacts those around you.
Have you ever been around someone who is always negative? No one is ever good enough, life is too hard, someone else always has new/better/more than they do, and so on.
How do you feel when you are around that person? Yup, you become almost as miserable as they are. Complaining hurts people – the person expressing it and the people they express it to.
Now don’t get me wrong here. It’s okay to express frustration on occasion and look for a solution to a problem. But a lifestyle of complaining? Well, we’re about to see how God isn’t a fan of that.
Complaining Hurts People
In Numbers 11, the nation of Israel comes to Moses and complains. They fuss about their hardships to him and the fire of God burned so fiercely that some people were actually consumed by it.
What a lesson, right?! And then, because they weren’t so quick to pick up on the correlation between complaining and fire, the foreigners traveling with them complained to Moses that life was better in Egypt (the land of slavery). Then the Israelites cried for meat. And cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic.
They forgot about the hours spent under a whip, breaking their backs under the hot sun, and living a life of servitude because all they thought about was what they didn’t have. They forgot about the manna that appeared every morning for that day’s food.
The manna they didn’t have to till the ground to sow and water and harvest, but that appeared divinely. They manna they didn’t have to hunt or follow, but that was provided every single day for them. The manna that wasn’t scarce, but that was provided amply for each household in their groups.
Yet they complained. They lacked gratitude and contentment. The result was fire (Numbers 11:1-3) and plague (Numbers 11:33-34). Complaining hurts people. God is not a fan.
Contentment & Gratitude Bless People
On the flip side, there is contentment and gratitude.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:6-11, ESV, bold mine)
Wow. Seriously, wow.
This is a serious warning about being discontented with where you are in life. Craving money (the craving of “more”) plunges people into ruin and destruction, can cause them to wander away from their faith, and open us up to being prey to temptation.
BUT godliness with contentment is great gain. Everything we have in our lives is a gift from God, and recognizing that is truly the best thing we can do. Thank Him for these things!
Colossians 2:6-7 admonish us to keep growing in our faith and overflowing with gratitude.
Philippians 4:6 tells us that we are to approach everything with prayer and thanksgiving.
Jeremiah 30:19 talks about God’s blessing as a result of the people’s thanks and praise.
When we are content and thankful, we allow God to move the way He wants to: to give us good things.