Grumbling, complaining and backbiting.
These are three words and actions we see everywhere today. We see it in business. We see it in families. Sadly it's even in the church today.
Some say it's simply human nature to display these characteristics. Perhaps that's true to the extent we are born with a sinful nature.
The Bible has some things to say about these attributes so many have today. Lets take a look at what God says.
We know that grumbling and complaining undermine the peace, joy, patience and other fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) we, as believers are to experience. It can certainly harm our Christian testimony to others, as well. Why would they want what we have if all we do is grumble and complain about others as well as our circumstances. When we complain we are essentially saying we don't like what God is doing or allowing to be done in our lives. We are saying we don't trust Him to do what is right in our lives. Often when we grumble and complain we are focused on the wrong things (James 4:1-3). Paul, the apostle, writes to the Philippian church to guard it's witness by not complaining. We read in Philippians 2:14-15, "Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world." Perhaps our complaints would better be lifted up to God in prayer.
In regards to backbiting, we need to look at what it means. By definition, backbiting means "to say mean or spiteful things about a person (such as someone who is not present)". To backbite is to gossip about someone behind his or her back. Negative or malicious talk may feel good for a moment, while you get something off your chest, but ultimately it does no good and can actually do great harm, even separating close friends. Backbiting is contrary to love. There is no place in the Christian life for backbiting.
Truthfully, these things annoy me, personally. These things do nothing to edify, exhort or encourage. Instead, they tear down and rip apart.
Why do we do such things? Perhaps to intentionally hurt someone who has hurt us. We do it to be vindictive. Jesus said, "For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart" (Matthew 12:34). We speak what's in our heart. Perhaps that is the issue - these things have taken root in our heart.
What is the answer? Prayer is the key. Ask God to change our hearts. He can give us a new heart. He can change our attitudes. Ask God to help you see others through His eyes. That will change your life.
Until next time...enjoy the journey!
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