Two things that may be ruining your life, and you don’t know it
From the Word of God: “How long must I tolerate this perverse community and its complaints against me?” (Numbers 14: 27a).
In the days after Harvey, Irma, María, the Mexico earthquake, social media was flooded with all kinds of photos and comments. Some images are so sad that they have made me cry. I am not exaggerating or dramatizing, it is so.
However, other comments made me very upset. (And getting angry is not a sin. What is sinful is what we do because of anger.) Do you know why I felt this way? Because they are comments of complaints: that if the traffic has become difficult due to lack of traffic lights, that if the signal of the telephones is bad, that if gasoline has risen in price, that if we have to return to work … the list of complaints it’s endless!
We forget that after a disaster of this kind, it is an illusion to think that everything will continue to run normally. Of course not! Life is interrupted. But as always, the attitude with which we assume it will make a big difference.
I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it, but complaining is a sin to God. If in doubt, read Numbers chapter 14. The people of Israel paid a heavy price for their complaints. A whole generation missed the enjoyment of great blessings because they complained and God got very angry. Now if you think this is just a problem for the Israelites, think again. Pay attention and you will see that it is much more common than we think.
The point is that if God in the time of Moses disliked the complaint, now too, that does not change. Ingratitude is abominable to our Lord.
Paul, who lived in prison and in deplorable conditions, taught us that the secret is to seek the strength in Jesus to face such situations (Philippians 4:13). That is not a passage that tells us that we are super men or super women, it is a passage that teaches us to seek strength in Christ for hard times and then to be able to experience the same as Paul… contentment in any situation.
On the other hand, the complaint gradually turns into an evil that eats away and creates bitterness. And nobody likes to live with bitter people! Look at what Hebrews tells us: “Take care that no poisonous root of bitterness sprouts, which upsets you and poisons many” (12:15). Our complaint may be affecting others.
I write these words because God’s people have to be different. And one of those differences is not being a complaining or bitter people. If you’ve jumped on the complaining train , get off fast! Remember that by doing so you are displeasing God, sinning. Also, you could be delaying or missing the blessing, as happened with that generation of Israelites. And on top of that, becoming a lonely and bitter person.
If we are going to be a light for others, as we are called, let us be a people of gratitude and contentment that recognizes the hand of God, helps others and encourages them.
That is the life that God designed!