Friday, September 14, 2012

Do You Have a Complaining Heart?

...A murmuring mouth is particularly grieving to God because it reveals discontent in God.
Psalm 106 says that one of the reasons God made the people of Israel “fall in the wilderness” was because they “murmured in their tents” (v. 25, 26). This has serious consequences...

1. It Models Satan

The angel Lucifer was the first grumbler. The onset of his fall from heaven was a result of dissatisfaction in his position and the desire to be like God. Writes Burroughs [author of The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment}:

“The Devil is the most discontented creature in the world, he is the proudest creature that is, and the most discontented creature, and the most dejected creature. Now, therefore, so much discontent as you have, so much of the spirit of Satan you have.”

2. It Is Contrary to Who You Are

You are a son and daughter with a heavenly Father who loves you, the deeply beloved bride of Christ, and actual members of Jesus’ body. When you bellyache and complain about every little thing, you mar your royal and treasured position.

“Are you the King’s son, the son, the daughter, of the King of Heaven, and yet so disquieted and troubled, and vexed at every little thing that happens? As if a King’s son were to cry out that he is undone for losing a toy; what an unworthy thing would this be! So do you: you cry out as if you were undone and yet are a King’s son, you who stand in such relation to God, as to a father, you dishonor your father in this; as if either he had not wisdom, or power, or mercy enough to provide for you.”

3. It Is the Opposite of Prayer

In prayer we come to God with requests and with praise and thankfulness in order to commune with him, but when we grumble, complain and murmur we essentially reverse prayer and rehearse all that we aren’t getting or all that God is not doing that we think he should be doing.

“By murmuring you undo your prayers, for it is exceedingly contrary to the prayer that you make to God. When you come to pray to God, you acknowledge his sovereignty over you, you come there to profess yourselves to be at God’s disposal.”

4. It Is Simply a Waste of Time

It accomplishes absolutely nothing. It accelerates personal stress and is downright annoying and draining to listen to.

“How many times do men and women, when they are discontented, let their thoughts run, and are musing and contriving, through their present discontentedness and let their discontented thoughts work in them for some hours together, and they spend their time in vain!”

5. It Swallows Up the Blessing of Mercy before It Arrives

If you covet a particular mercy of God (say, a big raise), when it finally comes, you won’t be thankful for it but will waste it. Coveting a blessing can turn the blessing into an idolatrous curse.

“Discontent and murmuring eats out the good and sweetness of a mercy before it comes. If God should give a mercy for the want of which we are discontented, yet the blessing of the mercy is, as it were, eaten out before we come to have it. … There are many things which you desire as your lives, and think that you would be happy if you had them, yet when they come you do not find such happiness in them, but they prove to be the greatest crosses and afflictions that you ever had, and on this ground, because your hearts were immoderately set upon them before you had them.”

6. It Worsens Sufferings and Afflictions

A murmuring attitude in the midst of affliction increases the affliction. Having a bad attitude in the midst of pleasant or mediocre circumstances poisons your heart and the hearts of others, and how much will this increase if this overwhelmingly negative spirit continues and truly difficult circumstances arrive.

“It in no way removes our afflictions, indeed, while they continue, they are a great deal the worse and heavier, for a discontented heart is a proud heart, and a proud heart will not pull down his sails when there comes a tempest and storm. If a sailor, when a tempest and storm comes, is perverse and refuses to pull down his sails, but is discontented with the storm, is his condition any better because he is discontented and will not pull down his sails? Will this help him?”

7. It Wears the Hopeless Costume of Pessimism

This simply means consistent pessimism is not in line with the sure hope and life-changing power of the gospel. There is an inherent optimism within the gospel that produces hope, love, joy, peace, etc. Positive commands like “rejoice in the Lord” and in everything “give thanks” and negative commands like “do not be anxious” and “do not grumble” all reveal that there is a gospel optimism about the Christian life that is to flavor the personality of a Christian.

By BJ Stockman drawing from The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

If you are looking for a resource to encourage you in this area
we highly recommend this book by Nancy Leigh Demoss:

Biblical Womanhood in the Home


Do you struggle with a complaining heart?

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Anonymous said...

THis has been a BIG struggle of mine lately. I have always been a complainer. I've been doing a lot of it lately, coupled with pouting (which I'm sure is just *super* attractive to my husband). I definitely needed to read this, though I have to admit it was a difficult read for me.

Kim Findley said...

I love this post. I wish we could all remember the joy of our salvation and live it out moment by moment. Life isn't always easy, but we sure don't have to complain about it! Great post and thank you!

Mandy Savings said...

I'd love to know the steps to stop complaining :0) I notice that I give a positive comment followed by a negative quite often and I hate that about myself. I've been trying to figure out how to change that and I struggle with it. I guess realizing it is an issue and praying about it are the first steps.

Anonymous said...

I'm right there with you!

Mrs. June Fuentes said...

Your welcome--thanks for stopping by!

Mrs. June Fuentes said...

Yes, Mandy, those are the first steps! Your comment reminded me of a post I shared a few years back called Purity in Speech that might help:


Mrs. June Fuentes said...

James 3:2 states:

"We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check."

We all sin through our speech some way or another for no one is perfect. What a greater reason for us all to be praying for one another in this area. I am praying for you!

Many blessings...

Angell @ Passionate and Creative Homemaking said...

Hi Mrs. Fuentes

I have been a follower for years and love your blog.

I don't know if anyone else has this problem but when I visit your site, it is really slow. I thought it was just my laptop but I went on to my fast regular PC and it's the same. You have a lot of posts on one page. I love coming on here and reading a lot of your posts - even from years ago - but it takes forever lol!

Just letting you know.

You are such a blessing in my life!!! God bless you and your family!

Jodi said...

Great post! A very convicting and strong message! Way to go for being faithful to share. Also, you have a lovely blog.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful post! Too many times, we have a feeling of entitlement where God's gifts are concerned, but nowhere does Scripture support that idea. It is such a "natural" thing to fall into the habit of complaining, but it certainly does not give glory to our loving Father, the Giver of all good things.

Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. For so many years I was a complainer. And as a newly renewed Christian I find this is a habit to let go of. Your words spoke to me greatly.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how God works in our lives. Contentment has been weighing on my heart lately. I've been praying for a new way to view and live in the world. I haven't read your blog in a long time (caught up in life) but this morning I felt drawn here and what do I find is the subject :) A complaining heart/contentment.

God is always present in our journeys and he works through so many different venues including blogs to help us become the person he wants and knows we can be. Thank you for your post and your words. I normally don't comment on blogs (I'm a silent reader) but I wanted you to know that you DO make a difference and that God is working through you to help those of us who are struggling in our journeys.

Thank you and God Bless

Joyfulmomof6 said...

Angell- When I use the laptop, that happens to me too. I've found that if I turn off the music, it loads faster.

June- Great reminder! It was powerful to see it all written out like this. I never thought of complaining as modeling satan. UGH!

Anonymous said...

I think it's amazing how God works. I've never been to this sight as I sit with tears streaming down, because I'm so ashamed of myself. I know God's grace covers all, but I still struggle to accept that I ever do anything "right". Thank you all!

Alicia @ said...

Thank you for this great reminder, it's so easy to fall into complaining whe He has called us to so much more!

Rachelle Hagenbuch said...

I cannot wait to buy this book! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh how I needed this! I'm in a time of life that is very difficult. I am striving to be a better Christian.

Anonymous said...

God brought me to this site to teach me a lesson I knew I had trouble with. Think it helped me. Thank you and God Bless.

Tonia Spencer said...

I am guilty.. My mouth is usually spewing discontent! :( said...

I don't even know where to begin. Thank you.

Kim M said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I keep praying and resolving to stop complaining about different things going on in my life. These 7 reasons not to complain confirm my resolve to stop and are extremely helpful.

Anonymous said...

This was a great post and a strong reminder that we are not to emulate the enemy, but we are instead to reflect the attitude of the Savior....who at all times put Himself under the authority of His Father...if only I could do the same with my impatient heart! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the wisdom shared in this piece. I know this is true as it resounds in my soul. I know this is probably my biggest fault/weakness. My husband and I have been having many talks recently surrounding the issues raised in this writing. I take that as a sign from God that He wants me to understand this deeply and begin to make changes. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this article, I needed to read this, Iam a complainer as well. I like how God works in my life when Iam struggling with some thing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing, very helpful.

Anonymous said...

This was the topic of our devotional the other day and is something my husband and I are discussing a lot. We are making an effort to apologize when we see it in our actions and personal thoughts. It's actually been a big help for me as we are dealing with the news from my oncologist about my uterine cancer. I'm struggling with the despair, questions, guilt, and in my prayers for peace in this, acceptance, God keeps showing me ways that He's with me in the smallest moments and the biggest storms, which is fitting since we're preparing for hurricane Harvey. Thank you for the post, it helps always in my daily walk and is the first time I've been able to talk about the diagnosis with anyone but immediately close family.

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