We do love to grumble, don’t we? We grumble about the weather, the state of the economy, and our aches and pains. We grumble about our bosses or our staff, our neighbours and our relatives. We grumble when we have too much work to do, and also when we don’t have enough. Is there anything people don’t grumble about? Grumbling has almost become a virtue with shows like Grumpy Old Men.
But grumbling is not a virtue, it is a sin. We may have made it an acceptable sin – after all, most of us do it – but it is difficult to think of any place where the Bible says grumbling is justified. Why is that? Deep down, grumbling betrays a lack of faith in God – as Creator, Sovereign, Saviour and Judge. Let me explain…
As Creator, God made everything the way he wanted it to be. As Sovereign, even with sin in the world, things turn out the way God wants them to, even if that’s not the way we would choose. As Saviour, he is able to change any situation we find ourselves in, or to change us so as to live with it. As Judge, he will put everything right at the end of time, and it will stay right for ever. The Christians that James wrote to had plenty of cause for grumbling, and yet he told them, “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming” (James 5:7, NIV). So, the next time we feel like grumbling, let’s consider what we’re saying about God.
Senior Minister (Vicar)