Additional Scripture Readings: Numbers 14:27; James 4:13–17
It rains on our picnic. It snows when we’re ready to leave for Christmas vacation. The baby spits up on our shoulder just as we’re ready to walk out the door.
And in response, we gripe. Marching off to life’s complaint department, we moan that circumstances aren’t what we ordered. We grumble to our husband about this. We complain to our friends about that. We might rationalize that we’re just explaining our problems to others so that they can pray and support us. But underneath the veneer of vulnerability is a grubby gripe.
Jude 16 speaks of ungodly people who were “grumblers and faultfinders.” The Greek word used here is mempsimoiros and means “complaining about one’s lot,” or “cursing one’s luck.” It conveys the idea of blaming fate for lousy circumstances. We may cry out in grief to God over truly trying circumstances. But whining and groaning to anyone who will listen accomplishes only two things: It makes our listener feel lousy and makes us feel worse.
It’s time to close the complaint desk. Griping about God and his work in our lives tarnishes his light in us and in our world.