I am around complainers all day at work. It almost drives me crazy, but then I come home and find that I’m doing the same thing. What’s happening to me?
— Signed, Embarrassed
The disease of grumbling is highly contagious. Just minutes around complainers can infect us for the entire day.
It’s usually because we become “impatient because of the journey” (Numbers 21:4). We commit to follow the Lord and as long as we like the food and our situation, the trip is great. But when our experience sours, our attitude often follows suit.
Complaining is a signal that our reliance rests upon personal experience not upon Princely excellence.
We gripe about the trivial, when we are really sick of the testing. “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food (Numbers 21:5). The Israelites said the problem was no food, but in the next breath admitted they just didn’t like what they had. Aren’t we just the same?
Complaining is like a “fiery serpent” that strikes and stings with venom (Numbers 21:6). How painful our complaints are, not only to His heart, but also to those that hear. Every grouse injects its deadly poison into the bloodstream of those who hear.
“Father, I’ve been poisoned by the venom of complaining. But, rather than turning to infect others, I want to break the cycle. Reveal Yourself to me, so that I may see You and live (Numbers 21:8). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”