Sit back and reflect for a moment. Is your life filled with thanksgiving or complaint? It is so easy to live a life of grumbling and discontentment with many things. It is so easy to be annoyed and irked by the littlest things which did not go the way we wanted it. It is so easy to “see the speck in your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:3) and find fault with others.
They are so easy because sin causes us to place ourselves at the centre of the universe. Because sin really is self-centredness at its core, we all tend to shrink our worlds down to the small confines of our needs, wants and feelings, and live an existence of the unholy trinity of “I-me-myself”.
It is also true that we live in a post-Eden world where sin has made its home—a fallen world which is terribly broken. Because of sin, life is filled with all kinds of difficulties and disappointments. Broken promises, deceit, abuse, betrayal, malice, slander and many others are happening every day. Put together, as individuals of unclean lips living among a people of unclean lips (Isa. 6:5), life can be one filled with discontent and complaint.
However, God does not see grumbling and complaining as innocent. 1 Cor. 10:10 says, “And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.” This verse in its context is not about petty complaints, but the constant grudging and querulous moaning of a people whom God had redeemed for a new life. Instead of being transformed into a joyful people filled with gratitude for God’s redeeming act, they saw themselves as “victims” on whom God had weighed heavy burdens and trials, abducted rather than redeemed.
Grumbling forgets the grace of God which is evident in our lives. It turns a blind eye to His sustaining and protective presence. It questions His goodness, faithfulness and love for us. It casts cynical doubts on His promises written in the Bible. If we believe in God and His omnipotent sovereignty over the world, we must accept that all our grumbling is ultimately grumbling against Him.
Yes, it is so easy to complain and grumble. Yes, it is so easy to take for granted the daily blessings we receive. Yes, it may even be so easy for us to forget the grace of the cross! May God help us!