I have a confession to make. I’m such a fussy dude. Like, I mean I really know how to drag out an inconvenience in my life, and get really juvenile with this thing. I can complain with the best of them. I’m very calm generally, and even show patience in situations, but let me have my intricate and/or time sensitive plans interrupted?! Bruh. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand how valid the frustration is when you have something to do. Or even when you’ve got a plan in mind, and then something just comes up that messes it all up. But you can get to the place where complaining and murmuring is a deeper issue, that affects you in a very negative way.
I’ve noticed how often I complain and fuss when things aren’t going my way. Even when I don’t openly complain, I murmur instead. Murmuring happens subtly and quietly, while complaining happens openly.
I’m an easy going man, who isn’t too demonstrative, so it’s not easy to spot this bad habit of mine. But the habit of murmuring and complaining robs you of your peace, and even robs God of the opportunity to use you in situations you wouldn’t place yourself in on your own.
How many times have you heard testimonies from people who suffered an inconvenience that frustrated them, yet God used it to answer a prayer they forgot about? Or what about the times your plans were totally switched up, and once you stopped complaining and began to work through the difficulties, opportunities were there?
Another group that dealt with complaining during their time in the wilderness was the nation of Israel. God took them in many different directions, and the people of Israel began to murmur and complain about everything. They complained to the point that they were convinced that Egypt was better for them. They were robbed of their peace, security in God, as well as their covenant relationship with Him. In response to all of this complaining, God kept an entire generation from the Promised Land, because the complaints came from a place of unbelief.
If we were honest with ourselves, complaints come from a place of unbelief and wanting our own desired outcomes most of the time. I know I do. So what’s the solution to this issue?
Be more intentional with your gratefulness and thanksgiving. It’s even made clear by God in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that being thankful is His will, so you know that God has your back when you thank Him more and more. Since thankfulness is the will of God, it impacts how we pray about our complaining habits as well. Ask the Lord to transform the way you approach the inconveniences of your life, and to open your eyes to whatever He wants to do in those circumstances. He will make you more sensitive to His ways, which are higher than your own ways.
This is a process, and I’m going through this process right now. It’s not easy at all. When we have a habit of complaining, it comes with a mindset that isn’t open to God using us in a unique way, so God is going to change that mindset. No matter how long it takes, may we all move away from murmurs and complaints, and are more grateful and thankful in all circumstances.