Murmuring – Philippians 2:14

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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After high school, I worked in a huge plant that employed thousands. Four gals from my high school worked there also, so we began sharing lunch breaks. However, one of them was constantly negative. Nearly everything out of her mouth was a complaint about something or someone, and it had a negative effect on the others in the group. It was depressing just listening to it all. After nearly a week, I decided I simply wouldn’t be around them any more.

God’s children of faith are not immune to a complaining spirit. When Moses was sent back to Egypt to deliver Israel out of cruel slavery, the Israelites repeatedly complained. Even a chance at freedom should have brought appreciation. But after finally being miraculously released, Israel murmured (meaning “to grumble”) against Moses when Pharaoh’s armies pursued them. Later “the people murmured against Moses” over a lack of water (Exodus 15:24). Then while in “the wilderness of Sin,” they murmured over a lack of food (16:1-4). It had become a pattern of life. When God promised victory over the inhabitants in Canaan, they once again murmured in disbelief that God would give the victory (Numbers 14). God’s anger was so kindled that an entire generation, except for Joshua and Caleb, perished without seeing the Promised Land. Paul refers to this in I Corinthians 10:10 warning the believers: “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” Complaining is a dangerous, negative habit. It embitters the soul, sours the spirit, ignores the rich blessings of God, and robs one of the joy of life. It also unnecessarily makes life miserable for those around us, becomes a poor testimony to the lost, and poisons our outlook on life. Perhaps, worst of all, it spreads like an outbreak of the flu to others, who, in turn, mirror this negativity.

Simply put, God hates a complaining spirit. Paul warns the saints at Philippi saying: “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked…nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15). It is not possible for us to be blameless before the Lord or man if we have a complaining spirit. Ask someone today to hold you accountable any time you are being negative, then purposely practice being positive in your speech and outlook.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."