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Editor’s journey


Hangin’ with complainers

SPRINGFIELD, MO. –– Have you ever sat through a meal with a chronic complainer? After a while the incessant whining nearly ruins your appetite. Subconsciously, your eyes begin to flit between your watch and the restaurant’s exit sign as you plot your escape.

If you’ve endured a similar experience, you can empathize with Moses and his 40 years in the wilderness. He must have contemplated going AWOL when the Children of Israel — between bites of manna — complained about everything from the accommodations to the dinner menu.

But, in Numbers 11:1-14, we find their grumbling was a symptom of a spiritual problem: The Children of Israel had lost faith in God’s promises; they had forgotten His power.

Some believers today are chronic complainers. Their faith in God’s promises and power has waned, and criticism and complaint have become a form of self-entertainment. Unknowingly they bring harm to their home, their church and themselves.

At one time or another, everyone complains and vents frustrations. But if a friend or family member displays an ongoing critical and complaining spirit, the appropriate response is not to run for an exit sign or to nod agreeably. Instead, may God help us speak the following in love:

“Second Timothy 1:7 says, ‘For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline’ (NIV). So, I’m going to pray that God increases your joy and gives you the faith to believe that He can take care of every situation. Because He wants you to live more abundantly.”

Sure, it might be a while before your friend invites you to dinner again, but that’s a small price to pay if he or she rediscovers what it means to trust God.

— Hal Donaldson

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