Joy Thief: Today we will be talking about complaining, grumbling, and murmuring. Along with the different ways this is done through dissatisfaction and the constant need for more. Complaining can be done with words or with actions. It can also be done through the thoughts and emotions of the heart that can be idolized and kept as pets. This is one of the most deceptive and sneaky ways Satan, the true thief, will manipulate and destroy the blessings of God in the believer’s life. Discontentment and lust for more is the complaining of our soul before God. Even lying is a complaint against the truth, declaring through lies that the truth is not good enough to stand upon. So, we will tackle the issue of the heart and mouth and destroy the works if the devil.
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“The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.”(John 10:10)
(Matthew 12:35-37) “The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things. I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Heart Of The Matter
(Matthew 12:34) “You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
(Jeremiah 17:9-10) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I Jehovah search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
(Proverbs 18:21) “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.”
The Rudder & The Well
(James 3:3-12) “Indeed, we put bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, and we guide their whole body. Behold, the ships also, though they are so big and are driven by fierce winds, are yet guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot desires. So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest! And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of animal, bird, creeping thing, and sea creature, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind; but nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the image of God. Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send out from the same opening fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, yield olives, or a vine figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh water.”
Here we see that by the same method of confession for salvation, we then use the same method to complain, murmur, and destroy.
(Romans 10:8-10) “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart;” that is, the word of faith, which we preach: that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
How then, as James says, can the dirty well of your heart produce salvation through faith and destruction through complaining? If the well of your heart is truly filled with faith and trust in God, then how can it mix the mud of complaining from the same fountain? Moreover, who then would want to hear of the Love of God from you? It destroys the power of your words!
- (James 1:26) “If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn’t bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is worthless.”
- (Matthew 15:11+17-18) “That which enters into the mouth doesn’t defile the man; but that which proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”… “Don’t you understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the belly, and then out of the body? But the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart, and they defile the man.”
Words Of Warning:
(Proverbs 4:23-24) “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life. Put away from yourself a perverse mouth. Put corrupt lips far from you.”
(Psalms 34:12-13) “Which of you wants a full life? Who would like to live long enough to enjoy good things? Keep your tongue from saying evil things and your lips from speaking deceitful things.”
(Proverbs 13:3) “He who guards his mouth guards his soul. One who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
(1 Peter 3:10) “For, “He who would love life, and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.”
(Psalms 106:7 + 23-27) “Our fathers didn’t understand your wonders in Egypt. They didn’t remember the multitude of your loving kindnesses, but were rebellious at the sea, even at the Red Sea.”… “Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had Moses, his chosen, not stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, so that he wouldn’t destroy them. Yes, they despised the pleasant land. They didn’t believe his word, but murmured in their tents, and didn’t listen to Yahweh’s voice. Therefore he swore to them that he would overthrow them in the wilderness, that he would overthrow their offspring among the nations, and scatter them in the lands.”
(Numbers 14:20-38) “Yahweh said, “I have pardoned according to your word: but in very deed, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with Yahweh’s glory; because all those men who have seen my glory, and my signs, which I worked in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have tempted me these ten times, and have not listened to my voice; surely they shall not see the land which I swore to their fathers, neither shall any of those who despised me see it. But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully, him I will bring into the land into which he went. His offspring shall possess it. Since the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the valley, tomorrow turn, and go into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.” Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, that murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Tell them, ‘As I live, says Yahweh, surely as you have spoken in my ears, so I will do to you. Your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness; and all who were counted of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me, surely you shall not come into the land, concerning which I swore that I would make you dwell therein, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, that you said should be captured or killed, them I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have rejected. But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. Your children shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your prostitution, until your dead bodies are consumed in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which you spied out the land, even forty days, for every day a year, you will bear your iniquities, even forty years, and you will know my alienation.’ I, Yahweh, have spoken. I will surely do this to all this evil congregation, who are gathered together against me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.” The men, whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up an evil report against the land, even those men who brought up an evil report of the land, died by the plague before Yahweh. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, remained alive of those men who went to spy out the land.”
Complaining Is A Sin
(Ecclesiastes 5:2+6) “Don’t be rash with your mouth, and don’t let your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you on earth. Therefore let your words be few…. Don’t allow your mouth to lead you into sin. Don’t protest before the messenger that this was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands?”
(Isaiah 3:7-9) “In that day he will cry out, saying, “I will not be a healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing. You shall not make me ruler of the people.” For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen; because their tongue and their doings are against Yahweh, to provoke the eyes of his glory. The look of their faces testify against them. They parade their sin like Sodom. They don’t hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought disaster upon themselves.”
(James 5:8-9) “You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Don’t grumble, brothers, against one another, so that you won’t be judged. Behold, the judge stands at the door.”
God Comes To Destroy The Complainer
(Jude 1:14-16) “Enoch was the seventh person after Adam, and he was talking about these people when he said: Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of holy angels to judge everyone. He will punish all those ungodly people for all the evil things they have done. The Lord will surely punish those ungodly sinners for every evil thing they have ever said about him. These people grumble and complain and live by their own selfish desires. They brag about themselves and flatter others to get what they want.”
- Get God’s perspective: The complaint of a lying tongue.
(Proverbs 6:16-19) “There are six things which Yahweh hates; yes, seven which are an abomination to him: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood; a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers.”
Put The Complaining Tongue To Silence
(Ephesians 4:29-31) “Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for building others up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice.”
(Colossians 3:5-10) “Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; for which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. You also once walked in those, when you lived in them; but now you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth. Don’t lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator,”
(Proverbs 21:23) “Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”
(Galatians 6:7) “Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
*You run the danger of speaking your complaints into existence, creating and magnifying the very same problem you are displeased about.
(Proverbs 23:6-8) “Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinks in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.”
- The Upside
(Proverbs 12:14) “A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth. The work of a man’s hands shall be rewarded to him.”
(Proverbs 16:23) “The heart of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning to his lips.”
(Proverbs 21:23) “Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”
If we really believe God is in control of our lives, guiding us to the shores of heaven, then how can we think we have the right to complain about our current situation?
Jesus: Our Example
(Isaiah 53:6-9) “All we like sheep have gone astray. Everyone has turned to his own way; and Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he didn’t open his mouth. As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he didn’t open his mouth. He was taken away by oppression and judgment; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living and stricken for the disobedience of my people? They made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death; although he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.”
Peter’s Discourse On Suffering: The Three Together..
(1 Peter 2:19-24) “For it is commendable if someone endures pain, suffering unjustly, because of conscience toward God. For what glory is it if, when you sin, you patiently endure beating? But if, when you do well, you patiently endure suffering, this is commendable with God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps, who didn’t sin, “neither was deceit found in his mouth.” Who, when he was cursed, didn’t curse back. When he suffered, didn’t threaten, but committed himself to him who judges righteously. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 3:14-18) “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “Don’t fear what they fear, neither be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with humility and fear: having a good conscience; that, while you are spoken against as evildoers, they may be disappointed who curse your good way of life in Christ. For it is better, if it is God’s will, that you suffer for doing well than for doing evil. Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;” (1 Peter 4:12-19) Beloved, don’t be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. But because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory you also may rejoice with exceeding joy. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed; because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified. For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil doer, or a meddler in other men’s matters. But if one of you suffers for being a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who don’t obey the Good News of God? “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let them also who suffer according to the will of God in doing good entrust their souls to him, as to a faithful Creator.”
(Psalms 17:3) “You have proved my heart. You have visited me in the night. You have tried me, and found nothing. I have resolved that my mouth shall not disobey.”
(Psalms 19:14) “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Yahweh, my rock, and my redeemer.”
(Psalms 49:3) “My mouth will speak words of wisdom. My heart shall utter understanding.”
(Psalms 63:5) “My soul shall be satisfied as with the richest food. My mouth shall praise you with joyful lips,”
(Psalms 71:8) “My mouth shall be filled with your praise, with your honor all day long.”
(Psalms 145:21) “My mouth will speak the praise of Yahweh. Let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.”
(Proverbs 8:7-8) “For my mouth speaks truth. Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness. There is nothing crooked or perverse in them.”
Learn To Be Content:
(Philippians 4:11-13) “Not that I speak because of lack, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content in it. I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
(Hebrews 13:5-6) “Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, “I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you.” So that with good courage we say, “The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
How To Biblically Handle Complaints, Wants, Or Desires
Option 1: (Philippians 4:6-7) “In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”
Option 2: (Matthew 18:15-1) “If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother. But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector.”
Don’t allow yourself to be offended or be offensive, so you will not prevent the spreading of the Gospel or moving of the spirit.
(2 Corinthians 6:2-10) “At an acceptable time I listened to you, in a day of salvation I helped you.”Behold, now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation. We give no occasion of offence in anything, that our service may not be blamed, but in everything commending ourselves, as servants of God, in great endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in riots, in labors, in watching’s, in fastings; in pureness, in knowledge, in perseverance, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in sincere love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
(Romans 15:18-19) “For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Messiah accomplished through me, to bring about the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem and around even to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the Good News of Messiah.”
*Ultimately complaining, grumbling, murmuring, and lusting are amplifiers of any problem or situation we might face. They do nothing to solve the issues. They just cement into our hearts and minds how unhappy we are about a topic. Often creating a wall around our real blessings and hiding these blessings from our focus. Then destroying the present and sufficient strength God has provided for us to endure and accomplish His goals. These activities are a smack to God’s face. Avoid declaring through complaint that God is not enough, that He is not sufficient, or trust worthy.
“The mouth of the righteous produces wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked is perverse.” (Proverbs 10:31-32)