Don’t grumble

Published 9:34 am Sunday, February 18, 2024

There’s a Bible verse in Philippians that is a lot more difficult to heed than would be expected — at least from my experience. That verse says: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Are you a grumbler? Do you complain a lot? If you’re like me, you would probably rate yourself as a non-complainer. That’s good, but I think you might be surprised if you began taking a serious note of your conversations. Little complaints and trivia comments can work their way into our thoughts and words, often without our even noticing.

The weather is the “go-to” complaint. August is always too hot, and March winds are too cold. Relief never comes too soon. Spring rains are too heavy, and no one likes a flash flood. A snow might be nice, but then there’s the danger of slipping and the mess when it melts. It’s too cold and windy in Chicago and too humid in the south. I suppose the weather will always catch the brunt of grumbles and complaints.

The second place ranking for complaining would probably be politics and the varying issues that they cover. Too liberal, not conservative enough, no common sense, borderline insane, corrupt, and blind find their way into the categories of complaining and grumblings associated with politics. I’m not naive enough to think politics doesn’t carry enough reasons for disputes and grumbling, but there’s no exceptions listed in that verse in Philippians. Moses and God had more than one conversation about God’s displeasure with His people murmuring and complaining.

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Matthew Henry of the famous Matthew Henry Commentary was a true scholar of the Bible. The knowledge in its pages not only filled his mind; it guided his life and actions. Once after being robbed, he made this improbable observation: “Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”

I read that years ago but have never forgotten it. What an example of being above your circumstances and choosing positive over negative. Murmuring and complaining take up a lot of conversations in our world, but shouldn’t. Perhaps, with God’s help, if we dedicated our speech to Him, we might actually turn our circle of influence toward a happier, God-pleasing environment.

Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.