Christian Fellowship 1997-01-13 - Murmuring

Philippians 2:14 "Do all things without murmuring"

There is a well known statement that a grouch always looks as if he were weaned on a pickle. Recently someone wanted me to complain about something and join their "cause". I would agree with them in their cause, but the last thing I wanted to do was complain. The thought of complaining only made me more thankful for the thing I was being asked to grumble about. Grumbling is something we all do more than we should. Sometimes grumbling is needed, most of the times it is sour grapes. Often grumbling is done because we want what someone else has or we want something better than we currently have. It happens in various forms, but it might be summed up best with the phrase "if only". If only I had more money, I could really serve you Lord. If only I had not made this or that decision, I could be a useful servant in your kingdom Lord. If only you had created me with the stamina that so and so has, I could do more things for you at church Lord. If onlys are pathetic. And yet we all have if onlys. Some of us thrive in the land of if only. If only is the land of excuse.

We need to hear the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon and let them resonate in our heads. He says, "Ten minutes praying is better than a year of murmuring". What have we ever gotten from complaining about our situation? I have gotten nothing, in fact I have learned that discontent breeds discontent. We need a higher standard than this. Our Christian profession should be adorned with an appropriate temperament. Some thoughts:

  1. God's commands are to be obeyed cheerfully. OK, this is a hard statement. It is even harder if we think about it. Do you love the Lord with all your heart, soul and being? Really? Well, our affections are divided, that is life, but our aim should be to love the Lord so that every aspect of our existence is a service of love to Christ. To be a servant of Christ is a reward in and of itself. The payment for being a servant of Christ is to be a servant of Christ. Last week I hired someone to work were I work. When he learned what he would be doing, he commented that even if there was no pay he would still like the job. That is precisely the attitude that we should have in our Christian life. Serving Christ is its own reward. There is true freedom in our "real" task.
  2. Let us be at peace with one another. Being at peace with each other is more than we usually make of it. Being at peace means I don't comment about how nice your car is in a way that implies you have no right to own it. Being at peace means I do not comment on how spiritual so and so is with the implication that he must be faking it. These are the subtle forms of murmuring that haunt us. We must ask the Lord to work in our hearts so that we can begin to grumble less and encourage more.

"Murmuring is a time-destroying-sin." Thomas Brooks

"If we growl all day we shouldn't be surprised if we end up dog tired at night!" Vance Havner

Soli Deo Gloria,
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