I recently read the book, Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges (even taught through the book in SS). The book challenges us to think through certain clearly defined sins that have become acceptable and commonplace among believers. We would all be shocked to find out that one of our members was a serial killer, but how many would be as shocked or grieved to find out that a brother or sister was proud or angry or that they worried too much? Yawn. Right? No big deal. Every body does that!
One of the acceptable sins among believers is that of whining or complaining. It is interesting that this should be so when the living God has so clearly and unmistakably forbidden us to do so. How many things are we allowed to complain about? What are the circumstances of life that allow us to pour out a laundry list of complaints? Here are the answers—none and none!
Allow me, if you will, to offer some thoughts to aid us in ‘cooling’ (or better, eliminating) our whining.
Besides being direct disobedience to the clearly revealed mind of God, complaining demonstrates a lack of confidence in the wisdom, goodness, and power of God.
This is especially so because we acknowledge what the Bible says about the sovereignty of God. We know that the devil is living and active and we know that the world is filled with evil men plotting us harm, but the reality is that everything that befalls us is ultimately rooted in the God who ordains all things. One has said of the wisdom of God, “Not only could His acts not be better done: a better way to do them could not be imagined.” Do you believe that or deny that by a complaining spirit?
Whining denies the goodness of God. That is, it denies God’s motives for bringing everything to pass in our lives. Do we believe that God is not only wise, but good and loving as well? Do we believe that He intends good for us? Do we agree with the Psalmist that He does good and is good?
Or do we perhaps deny the power of God in our complaints? One bestselling novel contains this bit of dialogue between two beaten down old men, “Do you think God knows what’s happenin?
I expect he does.
You think he can stop it?
No. I don’t”
I might understand that sentiment from an unbeliever, but what about the child of God?
One final note to help us in cooling our whining…. Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 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….That is to say our witness will be greatly hindered by our complaining. Do you want to shine forth in the world (of course you do!), then put a murmuring spirit to death!Jim Savastio, Pastor Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville