Every Christian’s {And Congregation’s} Virus: Grumbling

Would you agree that our goal as Christians is to become more like Christ? Of course! Should we not seek to become MORE loving, gracious, merciful, patient, & forgiving? Sure! As believers we know that becoming MORE is 1st a matter of the heart. Our heart is our character… who we are. Agree?

W/ that said, not long back I got convicted of a heart issue needing attention. The more I focused on it, the worse it was. I have since concluded I’m not the only one who struggles w/ it. Families, businesses, congregations all do. Actually, everyone is infected w/ it!

What’s the virus I’m referring to? Grumbling. “Really?! Grumbling? Aren’t there better things to preach about?” Well, what we do each week falls into the category of, “Preaching the Word… (by) reproving, rebuking, & exhorting” (2 Tim 4:2). Today I exhort you to evaluate & address…

Grumbling is a seed whose fruit leads to other sins. It begins as a silent conversation in us about something or someone we don’t like. Just as often the conversation is about something we want, do not have… sometimes we’re convinced we are/have been treated unfairly. But consider Ja 1:14-15

Each person is tempted when he is lured & enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, & sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Notice this passages refers to the culmination of sin as a process from w/in. It takes time & doesn’t happen quickly (“Conceived, birth, fully grown”). We have in us seeds that, if given time to germinate, sprout, grow, & bring forth fruit will have devastating effects… possibly to many.

You’ve seen, heard, & experienced grumbling. Some here may have already grumbled several times today! Parents, remember when you told your kids to do something they didn’t like? The look on their face, in their eyes? How they said, “Racka-racka-wabba-ragga?” That’s grumbling…

What about your spouse? Disagreement & they walk away saying something too low for you to u’stand, but you KNOW it isn’t good. Q: “What’d you say?” A: “I’m talking to myself!” Those are heart grumblings. And if not addressed will get worse & possibly become a nuclear war.

Church? “Did you see that dress?!” “Preacher goes on too long.” “Those shoes don’t go with that outfit.” “I didn’t like the songs we sang.” Those are grumblings intended to degrade the object & infects those who hear. (Pause) Please turn to Eph 4:29-32

Let NO corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness & wrath & anger & clamor & slander be put away from you, along w/ all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

All God’s people said, “OUCH!” In Vs 31 grumbling (“Corrupting talk”) is a heart issue… an expression of character… & contrary to godliness. It reveals a lack of maturity in Jesus. It wounds God’s heart. “Corrupting talk” destroys rather than builds up. Grumbling can’t be kind, tender, or forgiving.

Grumbling exacerbates virtually all problems: Grumbling. It begins in us slowly, & if not dealt w/ will destroy us, others, congregations, & have eternal consequences. C.S. Lewis’ described the danger of grumbling:

Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others… but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself & wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God “sending us” to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE hell unless it is nipped in the bud.

Grumbling is when we don’t like someone, or others. We criticize & lecture them secretly in our heart. If not addressed, we start to glare… narrowing the eyes when we see them. Then we will orally demean them, initially is just under our breath (Mimic it). Note! Unless a person is immunized, they will get the virus. This is the point of no return as the virus goes viral.

When the grumbling virus is full blown in a person, they grumble out loud, not caring about the consequences to themselves, others, or God’s people. Remember “Typhoid Mary?” We should sequester grumblers as they did Typhoid Mary! HARSH? Read Ro 16:17; Titus 3:10; 2 Thess 3:14!

All we’ve examined so far… as bad as they are… is not the worst about grumbling. There is something far worse… when the grumble is toward GOD.

In Num 14:26-30, God said those who grumbled against him were “wicked,” & He heard them. God declared all those 20 & older, except Caleb & Joshua, would die there. Why? Because grumbling toward or about GOD is serious… revealing an unbelieving heart, lack of faith, & rebellious attitude.

Grumbling toward God is when we don’t like what He allows into life (Circumstances). B/c we don’t like it… we rebel in our heart. We get mad with Him. We think we know better than God… & so we grumble to/about Him. “This isn’t fair or right! I don’t deserve this! God ISN’T loving!” Careful!!

Paul references this in 1 Cor 10:6-11. He wrote what happened to them is a lesson for us not to grumble (Vs 11). He writes the grumblers “Were destroyed by the Destroyer.”

Then it is written in Ja 5:9-11 that those who grumble will be judged by God who is “Standing at the door” (Close by). We’re not told what kind of judgment occurs, but we know Heb 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hand of the Living God.” Careful… Now please turn to Phil 2:13

It is God who works in you, both to will & to work for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God w/out blemish in the midst of a crooked & twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…

Consider this, God (!) is at work in you (Events, circumstances) to accomplish HIS will. Which is conformity to the image of Christ (Ro 8:29). Grumbling is to oppose God’s good will for you!!!

Now, B/C God is working FOR you (Not against you), it’s written we’re to “Do ALL things w/out grumbling or questioning.” Endure events… be content… speech that builds up… (etc), FOR A PURPOSE! What? Read Phil 2:15, “That you may be blameless & innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked & twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…”

To not grumble (About anything!) glorifies God because people get their view of God from how Christians act! This world is full of grumblers, & sadly churches have their share of them too. To be different & glorify God, His people should never… ever… ever… grumble. One more passage. 1 Peter 4:7

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled & sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

It won’t be long before the end comes, either thru death or Jesus’ return… then is eternity! One expression of love is not to grumble. Being self-controlled & sober-minded means grumbling is absent from us. As grumbling is a heart issue, it is only dealt with by One who can change the heart!

Christians… the Holy Spirit will not allow you to continue grumbling. He will (May have?) convict you… draw you to His side… & take you through a process to eliminate grumbling.

Are you convinced this message didn’t apply to you? Well, that’s a strong proof it does. Please consider the warnings we’ve examined in Scripture about how serious God is about grumbling as it is a heart condition you cannot address w/out Him.

Jesus came to bring an end to grumbling. He died for every grumble & grumbler who will confess, repent, & trust in Him for salvation… (Invitation).