Today, in Segment #1 we define and discuss murmuring. In Segment #2 we talk about how to “murder” murmuring in our lives.
SEGMENT #1 – What is Murmuring?
Psalm 78, especially verses 18 and 19 – The sin of murmuring
Murmuring = Discontentment + Anger + Ingratitude
It is also related or synonymous with grumbling and complaining.
It is directly or indirectly slandering God and His Providence
It is second-guessing, or even challenging, His Wisdom
It is doubting and disbelieving He is Good and as a Good Purpose in the circumstance, or will use it to a good end.
It is—at least in one’s heart, if not with one’s mouth—pounding on the front desk of Heaven demanding to speak with the Innkeeper to complain about your stay.
Murmuring can be done outwardly and vociferously, like the Israelites, or inwardly (“Why me, Lord?”)
SEGMENT #2 – Murdering Murmuring
Like any other sin, it is all in the attitude of the heart.
We can be in a hard or bad situation and not murmur. We may suffer with some chronic illness or have a sudden trial come our way. It’s one thing to look to the Lord in reverence and humility and tell him how hard the circumstance is on us, and how we are trying to bear up under it and honor Him, but it’s another entirely to pound our fist like an angry passenger demanding his way from the gate agent.
Sometimes we know we are in a hard situation and need to honestly talk to the Lord about it. That’s not murmuring, that’s using our God-given brains to assess and adjust and seeking His guidance. Those times should be done prayerfully and follow Jesus’ own caveat to desired change, “Thy will be done.”
1 Cor 10:10 “nor grumble as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer…” and two verses later, in v12, is a warning against proudly thinking we ourselves aren’t above the same sin.
And three verses later, in 10:13, is the hope: God will provide a way of escape from all temptation, including grumbling.
Philippians 2:14, “Do all things without grumbling or questioning” verse 15 continues it, “that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation., among whom you shine as lights in the world” – Paul ties our not grumbling to our witness in the world in this passage, and specifically gives grumbling as an example of something we should avoid doing out in the world.
James 5:9, James brings it back into context of relating with other believers when he says in James 5:9, Do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged” so there’s a judgment, or discipline, of God on us if we grumble against a brother or sister.
What is the Biblical way to deal with Murmuring?
1. Recognize it (“Search me O God and know me, try my heart…”)
2. Repent of it
3. Bear fruit in keeping with repentance – Prayerfully look for opportunities to change your heart
4. Prayerfully look for opportunities to change the situation (with a “Thy will be done” attitude)
5. Wait on the Lord, trust in his Goodness, Remind yourself often that He is Good and is working all for your good and His glory.
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Be faithful and be fruitful!
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