Complaining

"Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer." 1 Corinthians 10:10

    The Israelites were chronic complainers as they trekked through the desert. They complained about the water supply. They complained about the food supply. They complained about their leaders. When God gave them manna from heaven, they soon grew tired of it and longed for the leeks, onions and garlic of Egypt. Although there were no food markets or shoe stores in the wilderness, God provided an unfailing supply of groceries for forty years, and shoes that never wore out. Yet instead of being grateful for this miraculous provision, the Israelites complained without letup.

    Times haven't changed. Men today complain about the weather: it's either too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry. They complain about the food, like lumpy gravy or burnt toast. They complain about their work and wages, then about unemployment when they have neither. They find fault with the government and its taxes, at the same time demanding ever-increasing benefits and services. They are unhappy with other people, with their car, with service in the restaurant. They complain about minor pains and aches, and wish they were taller, thinner, better looking. No matter how good God has been to them, they say, "What's He done for me lately?"

    It must be a trial to God to have people like us on His hands. He has been so good to us, providing not only the necessities of life, but luxuries which His own Son did not enjoy when He was here upon earth. We have good food, pure water, comfortable homes, clothes in abundance. We have sight, hearing, appetite, memory and so many other mercies that we take for granted. He has protected us, guided us and sustained us. Best of all, He has given us eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And what thanks does He receive? Too often He hears nothing but a tirade of complaints.

    I had a friend in Chicago years ago who had a good answer when asked, "How are you?" He would always reply, "It would be a sin to complain." I often think of that when tempted to murmur. It's a sin to complain. The antidote to complaining is thanksgiving. When we remember all that the Lord has done for us, we realize that we have no reason to complain.