The Complaint Department
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: ~Philippians 2:14
Recently, my refrigerator was having temperature issues. I called the warranty company, which sent a repairman out to check it out. After his diagnosis, he ordered parts. Two follow up appointments were made for the repair, but the technician stood me up. I made numerous calls to the company to get this job done but to no satisfaction. A final complaint was given to the management of the warranty company, and they helped me get someone to deal with the issue. We live in an imperfect world that is rife with poor customer performance. We have been ingrained over the last forty to fifty years to complain and murmur when things don’t turn out as expected. Unfortunately, the same can be said about Christians in the church. Paul gives us simple but stern counsel about what to do with our complaints.
We see the insight.
Complaining is referred to as murmurings and disputings. Murmuring is when we complain under our breath in a low utterance. It sounds like we are talking to ourselves. Murmuring is expressing with our mouth our dissatisfaction and ill favor towards something that we disagree with, something that did not turn out the way we thought it should, or something that we don’t like. The word itself means “a secret debate.” A disputing is questioning something with a critical heart. It is having such serious doubts about a matter that you dislike that you deliberately and repeatedly question it in your mind and out loud. When Paul wrote Philippians 2:14, it had come to his attention that the church was overrun by a critical spirit against one another when it came to methods and preferences.
We see the insidiousness.
Complaining can become chronic. Complaining can lead to a critical spirit. Complaining can make you bitter. Complaining leads to a comparative and competitive spirit with other believers. Euodias and Syntyche were at odds with one another because of petty disagreements. Complaining that is unchecked results in being overly analytical and suspicious about the person you are at odds with. Complaining takes away your joy. Complaining makes you imagine a problem that is bigger than what it really is. Complaining leads to divisions in the church. Complaining hinders the work of God from going forward. Complaining is a bad testimony to the unsaved. Complaining is dangerous, and it is a sin.
We see the infection.
As we study the words murmur and murmuring in the Bible, they are almost always used in a congregational sense. In other words, it is a group of people who are complaining. They become the self-appointed complaint and grief department and are a lightning rod for other complainers. Complaining is so infectious to a church or community of people that it spreads like the plague and does just as much damage.
We see the instruction.
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” Paul’s instruction is simple, stern, and scriptural. All things means all things. Divest yourself from a selfish spirit that looks at what you disagree with and, instead, have a spirit that is ready to be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith. Paul’s instruction is telling us to “stop it.” If you find yourself murmuring and complaining, there needs to be spiritual changes in your life. Paul did not instruct us to stop serving or being involved. Paul said, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.”
How do I file a complaint then? You don’t! “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.”
Have a complaint-free God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Hosea 1-7