2 Samuel 7:4-15
Read John 6:40-46 to see how Jesus responded to some complainers. Read Psalm 106:24-25 to see the relationship between doubt and grumbling.
How might finding contentment in Christ help prevent us from complaining? The next time you’re tempted to complain, what might you do instead?
A frustrated female investment banker had a problem with her looks. It wasn’t that she felt unattractive. Au contraire. She believed that she was too good-looking to be effective at work. Her complaint went like this: “I feel [my beauty is] holding me back. Female colleagues distrust me, while male colleagues are drawn to me but don’t take me very seriously. . . . What can I do, short of turning up to work in a [garbage bag]?”
My heart goes out to this lady—really, it does. At the same time, I wonder if complaining about her problem brought any lasting relief. Belly-aching didn’t seem to get the Israelites very far; it only angered the God who freed them from slavery (Numbers 11:1). Still, the Israelites kept it up: We’re parched. We don’t like the management (Moses and Aaron). Our stomachs are growling. We’re sick of the manna. We need some meat! And by the way, we’ve had enough of the wilderness tour.
The Israelites certainly became quite the complainers. God Himself, however, demonstrated a different way to handle sub-par circumstances. He said, “I have always moved from one place to another with a tent and a tabernacle as My dwelling. Yet no matter where I have gone with the Israelites, I have never once complained to Israel’s tribal leaders” (2 Samuel 7:6-7). It’s amazing that the God of the universe lived in a desert tent right next to His people, and He did it without “kvetching” once!
Let’s follow God’s example and the apostle Paul’s instruction—choosing to “do everything without complaining” (Philippians 2:14). The next time you have to take out the trash, eat leftovers (again), or deal with a crazy driver, try to hold back from complaining. It’s a chance to give the world a glimpse of God’s holiness.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Jeremiah 38:1-13
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