Grumbling and Complaining
That scripture that says “do all things without grumbling and complaining” has me confused. What does “all” mean? Some translations say “everything.” That makes it sound like I shouldn’t be complaining about anything. What if it’s something annoying that your spouse does? Don’t I have a right to complain about her squeezing the middle of the toothpaste tube? What about the weather, especially if it’s really hot and the electricity goes out? Someone told me he wouldn’t mind his job if it were not for all the idiots he has to work with – is it complaining if you’re just telling the truth? What about participating in the public service on media by pointing out the faults of all the politicians? Don’t they have a right to their opinion? My friend’s posts about “gays” sure sound like complaining, but isn’t he just pointing out sin? When the sin has nothing to do with him, and there’s no way that he’s connecting in a loving way to create a disciple, it’s hard to see how this helps anyone, but is that complaining? Or what about that annoying slow poke in front of you in traffic? – wait a minute preacher, now you sound like you’re complaining about me.
Let me see, I’ve covered family, friends, weather, jobs, daily life –It just seems right to complain. It’s contagious. Maybe I’m not so confused about complaining, it’s just become so common I’ve become comfortable with it.
Here’s the fuller context, “Do everything without grumbling 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). To grumble is to mimic this twisted and fallen generation around us.
To be a child of God living in a wicked world means I’m going to have to change the way I think and act. I’m going to have to be humble like Jesus. It’s hard to focus on His sacrifice and complain at the same time. Grumbling seems to be the opposite of joy and rejoicing. Complaining doesn’t sound like “consider it all joy…. When you meet various trials” (Jm. 1:2). Complaining doesn’t sound like Jesus.