Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Complaining Spirit

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  Philippians 4:11-12

It happens quickly.  You are with friends visiting and someone starts complaining.  Then someone else has a complaint and so on.  It seems as if complaining is contagious.  How do we discern if we have a complaining spirit?  Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you today if you have a complaining spirit and then seek the LORD’s help in eradicating this complaining spirit from your life. 

People complain about many different things – jobs, families, life circumstances, school, church, etc.  You can add to the list.  We must realize that complaining is harmful and often can cause dissention.  When we exhibit a complaining spirit, the power of Christ is not evident in our lives.  Philippians 2:14 – Do everything without grumbling or arguing.  Allow the power of Christ to enable you to live your life without complaining and arguing with others.  When we complain and argue with others, our LORD is not receiving honor and glory.  Our actions must point others to Jesus Christ. 

God considers complaining as unwholesome talk.  When we complain to others, it definitely does not encourage them.  God’s Word is clear - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen – Ephesians 4:29.  Prayerfully ask the LORD to search your heart and reveal to you whether you speak words of encouragement or words of discouragement to others.  As Christians, we should have the desire to never grieve God with our actions or our words.  A complaining spirit grieves our Heavenly Father.  The person who does not have a complaining spirit but offers others encouragement is like good medicine.  A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones – Proverbs 17:22.  Exchange your complaining spirit for one which looks at the positive aspects of life.  Exchange your complaining spirit for a thankful spirit. 

When we shift our attention from what we have, to what we don’t have, we often begin to complain and grumble.  We must intentionally notice what God has done for us and what God is doing for us.  God has blessed us beyond measure.  In Numbers 21:5-6, we notice the Israelites complaining and grumbling.  They spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?  There is no bread!  There is no water!  And we detest this miserable food!”  Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them: they bit the people and many Israelites died.  The Israelites refused to recognize and thank God for what He had done for them and was doing for them.  God was setting them free from bondage in Egypt, He was making them into a nation, and giving them a new land.  Their focus was on the delicious Egyptian food they had left behind when they were led from slavery.  We must guard our hearts so that we don’t begin to complain and focus on our unfulfilled desires.  1 Corinthians 10:9-10  tells us – We should not test Christ, as some of them did – and were killed by snakes.  And do not grumble, as some of them did – and were killed by the destroying angel. 

As Christians, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit.  God’s Word tells us we should keep in step with the Spirit.  When we complain and grumble we are not keeping in step the Spirit.  Galatians 6:25 – Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  If we are keeping in step with the leading power of the Holy Spirit, we will not be complaining and grumbling.  Live by the Holy Spirit’s power and allow Him to remove your complaining spirit. 

Refocus your mind on what is true, noble, and right.  When we do this, we will not find anything to complain about.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things – Philippians 4:8.  When we are praising our Savior and LORD and giving Him thanks, we will not be able to complain.  Never forget your blessings that your Heavenly Father has bestowed upon you.  Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – Ephesians 5:20. 

Dear Heavenly Father, reveal to us if we have a complaining spirit.  I pray that we will refocus our hearts and minds and recognize the blessings you have provided us with.  Thank you for salvation.  Help us to focus on what is true, noble, and right.  Help us to speak words of praise and encouragement.  In Jesus Precious Name I Pray…..Amen.

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