It seems like some people get all the breaks, while others lose their jobs or livelihoods. It would be natural for suspicions and criticisms to arise against leaders or other brothers who appear to have it easy.
Gripers and complainers are miserable company. Everyone is wrong except them. They only build their case for getting even. The danger of griping is how contagious it is. Like yawning or coughing in a group, once someone starts it, everyone is doing it. The venom of resentment and bitterness spread like wildfire.
The root causes of “grumbling” (lit. “a sigh or groan; a complaint or discontent directed against another, griping”) are resentment, envy, and jealousy. All three are cancerous, contagious plagues that must be surgically or aggressively removed.
Israel played the “blame game,” accusing Moses of causing the death plague (Num 16:41), and they griped to Moses about the lack of water and their miserable desert conditions (20:2). They grumbled in their tents against God: “The Lord hates us.” Israel never learned contentment or thankfulness in their circumstances.
Paul commanded, “Do all things without complaining [about things] and disputing [with people], that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:14). The world may gripe, but believers cannot.
James put our present life into eternal perspective when he added, “Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!” God takes His word very seriously: “For all the people have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have tempted me now these ten times, and have not obeyed me, they will by no means see the land that I swore to their fathers, nor will any of them who despised me see it” (Num 14:22NET). Israel is not a good model to follow.
We are to live as though Jesus, the judge, is just outside the door listening to our thoughts, hoping to find something for which He can praise us. May we give Him pure thoughts of trust and thankfulness for whatever He has decided to provide and how He leads us in our pilgrimage.
“I am afraid I have a great tendency, dear Lord, to gripe and complain when I think others who should know better are doing wrong. Please put within me a searing sensitivity to quickly quell those evil desires before I speak.”