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Faithful complaint vs unfaithful grumbling

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by JohnC, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. Hat trick to Jon Bloom over at the Desiring God Blog.

    Below are my thoughts on the subject. I heartily recommend Jon's post.

    I have been in too many churches where everybody seemed to think they had to put on the fake face of HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY... That they had to ONLY approach God and others with a saccharine fake-sweet, fake-happy attitude... Even when they were in SERIOUS pain... Even when they were hurting badly inside... Even when they were tied up in knots.... WHY? Because they wrongly misunderstand that we should not bring our complaint to God.... And so they pine away - FEARING to bring their true situation before God... until it all boils over and explodes into Accusation and Abuse... Bottling up the disappointment for so long - till finally they blow up into "God, you just don't care about me... You are just trying to destroy me.. You hate me... This is all your fault...."

    This is wrong. This is error. Over and over in the Psalms, Job, lamentations, and through Paul's epistles - we see models of Righteous complaining... God DOES want you to bring your complaint before Him...

    What sets Faithful, righteous complaint apart from unfaithful complaint?....

    On one hand - unrighteous "complaint" - which is NOT complaint at the SITUATION, but rather Accusation, Abuse, and Blame... Impugning God and His character... We are in effect saying "You don't love me... You don't hear me.. It's not worth serving you... You just don't care.. All you want to do is bring evil.".. Accuse, abuse, impugn, malign, besmirch.... this sort of complaint only stands to accuse and impugn God and God's character... To state that God is not righteous, not just, not loving, not worth serving.... This is a statement of Ingratitude... You are basically saying - I am mad, I am feeling bad, therefore I have the RIGHT to abuse you and try to make YOU feel bad...

    In Exodus especially - we see God's fury towards "Grumbling" - unfaithful "complaint," but also in the words of the prophets - Malachi, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah - we see the examples of people participating in Unrighteous complaining....

    Righteous complaint on the other hand is the emotional outpouring and stating the facts of the actual condition... It does not cast accusation on God. It claims no right to Abuse, impugn, or bemsirch. Righteous complain simply states the simple fact - I am hurting, I am feeling pain, I am feeling worry and I need help and comfort....

    WE need to teach and apply Righteous Complaint... To use the Psalms and Lamentations as a model for how to approach God (And others for that matter) when we are feeling downtrodden, empty, abused, and hurt.

    Why? Well... How do you feel when someone simply wants to abuse you? To malign you? To accuse you of wrongdoing when you have done none.... How hard is it to comfort someone when they are doing nothing but blaming and accusing you... How do you feel when someone starts in with: "You hate me, you don't love me, you are just trying to hurt me, you don't care..." our answer is to pull away FURTHER - to say "OK FINE... You say I don't do anything, you say I don't care - Well... I will show you how that goes when I pull all the good things I am doing away from you and your ungrateful self...."

    And in the scripture - we see God respond the same way towards accusation and abuse....

    On the other hand.. How we respond with comfort and encouragement towards "I hurt. This is really hard on me. I don't know what to do and everything I keep trying is just failure. I need help..."

    God responds with comfort and encouragement towards faithful complaint... Why - because it stands as a statement of the reality of our situation and our physical/mental/emotional state.... It's the statement that I need comfort because this really hurts...

    Juk likes this.
  2. As the Bible says, "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." James 4:6
  3. David wrote psalms...he turned complaint and lament into prayer...

    I find certain Christians who are influenced by wof teachings and positive thinking tend to be this way. It will all get bottled up until God, tired of being flattered and beseeched like hes some kind of genie, ignores this proud sense of entitlement and those flattering words and positive affirmations dont get answered and then you start seeing the true colors of these believers...they didnt get what they wanted...then start complaining to you and blaming Him.
    Juk likes this.
  4. It goes on in all sorts of places... It turns out that it's a very common belief - that you should only put on your "Happy Face" around God.... OR - people read Exodus and Ezekiel and Malachi - and they get this notion that it's a sin to "Complain" at all....

    I very strongly believe that since God completely knows your heart - it's no use to try to LIE to God and say that everything is OK when it's not....

    But - I think we also have to be make actual effort to TRAIN ourselves to focus on the ACTUAL problem rather than casting blame... This takes actual work to un-learn very deeply ingrained bad habits... Bad habits that are repeated over and over and over...

    It takes work to drill down inside yourself and actually quantify the actual condition you are unhappy about rather than simply lashing out.... It takes discipline to voice that actual something you are grieved about.... If you are in pain - voice that.. If you have no money and you fear - voice that... If you are feeling alone and empty - voice that... If you are facing impossible odds and people are trying to destroy you - voice that.... These are actual facts... They state an actual condition...

    For instance... In Exodus 17... The people NEEDED water.. That's a real, bona-fide physical need... It's NOT wrong to "Be thirsty" because you haven't drunk any water for several days... It's not wrong to state that the livestock and the people are getting balky because they have not had any water.... Being thirsty does not make you "Rebellious" ..... BUT - what the "Thirst" does is to give the REBELLION an Excuse....

    Notice the character of the "request"....
    Exo 17:3 .............'Why is this? -- thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to put us to death, also our sons and our cattle, with thirst.'

    Notice - they are not simply stating a statement or making a humble request .... As elders, it's getting hard to keep the people and livestock going because of their physical needs.... Please go ask God to provide water for us..... RATHER - accusation and slander against Moses and his character... "You brought us up from Egypt to KILL us.." Moses even states that the people are about to stone him...

    These people were Rebellious LONG BEFORE they were Thirsty - it's just that this thirst gives them an "excuse" to lash out and rebel against Moses....

    And that's what we do too... We WANT an excuse to lash out because WE want to lash out - not because they DESERVE to be lashed out against - but because WE want the POWER over them... and so we wait.... until finally, we GET our excuse... Then - we let them have it.... This puts us "Up" and it puts them "Low"... It has NOTHING to do what-so-ever with the need at hand - the "Need" is simply an excuse.... That's why the "Unrighteous complaint" is so dangerous... It's not about the need - it's about power....

  5. Lanolin forgive me but you are not 100 percent correct at all. People need to stop judging others and judge their own lives.
  6. #6 Cturtle, Jun 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
    Actually in my opinion we need to get our Bibles out and stand in faith. Trusting God, and telling Him that we have faith in Him and His Word, and that we trust that He is going to show us the way out. To show us how to be at peace in the middle of the storm that the devil is throwing at us. First words make a difference and telling God everything that is happening is not going to fix the problem. It only drives down deeper the despair that can be felt if one does not trust that this attack in not from God, and that God will lead them out. God already knows what is going on. So telling God all the details is not going to strengthen ones faith.

    However i do agree that attacking God with words that come from our emotions is not a good thing either. It really is time for believers to begin to really meditate on the Word of God so that He can show them the truth of what the Scriptures are saying. We really need to be putting aside all of the worlds ways and natural ways and adopt God's ways into our thinking.

    *******It takes work to drill down inside yourself and actually quantify the actual condition you are unhappy about rather than simply lashing out.... It takes discipline to voice that actual something you are grieved about.... If you are in pain - voice that.. If you have no money and you fear - voice that... If you are feeling alone and empty - voice that... If you are facing impossible odds and people are trying to destroy you - voice that.... These are actual facts... They state an actual condition...********

    As i stared the above paragraph that i took from your post...i believe that this is exactly a good example of what i am saying...if we are in pain..we should find a scripture that thanks God for healing us and removing the pain....if one has no money...find the verse that says that my God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus, if one is lonely we should be thanking Him that He is our best friend etc.... This is walking in faith and this is what pleases God.

    The Bible says that one has what they say....so if you are going around talking about how sick you are or how broke or how fearful you are that is what you have. But God sent Jesus to redeem us from all of that, and tells us that the just shall live by faith. Talking about what you already have.....brings doubt in God and lack of trust in His ability to fulfill His promises. It also ties your angels hands. They were sent to minister to those who are heirs of salvation (that is us) and they only obey the Word of God....not unbelief.

    God expects us to respond with an attitude of grattitude as in Philippians 4:6-7 "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peacemof God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus
    Fish Catcher Jim likes this.
  7. Amen Kind of like Conducting ourselves as He has stated that we as believers must conduct our selves in order to see His best and see His word working in our lives.
    Faith does not whine and complain to God - No faith rises up to the ocasion with the word of God boldy knowing who we are in Christ......
    Boldly as in coffident and total trusting of and in His word and way.
    God Bless
    Cturtle likes this.
  8. this thread reminds me of a song I was teaching the children to sing the other week in Bibles in Schools.

    Are you humbly grateful or grumbly hateful? What's your attitude?
    Do you grumble and groan ...or let it be known, you are grateful for all God's done for you?
    Cturtle likes this.
  9. What you are doing is a good thing - declaring God's character, comforting yourself by standing upon the covenant promises and upon God's character, trusting in The Lord, and asking for God's resolution to the situation, and avoiding blaming, accusing, maligning, or abusing God... I would like to suggest that we should not stop there - God has invited us to bring our troubles before Him because He wants us to. We should because He tells us to.

    Through the scripture - we see exhortations specifically to bring your troubles before God... That means your trouble - not what you want the blessing to be.... God invites us to do this - and I believe that God has done this intentionally. For example - psalm 142 stands out in this regard...

    We see Godly men and women in the scripture practicing this - and God does not treat this as unrighteousness. Isaiah 36-39 gives a good example of this with Hezekiah. Psalm 56 is an example with David... We should not treat it as unrighteousness if God doesn't...

    Juk likes this.
  10. Thank you John for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate your encouragement. However I do not agree with you 100%.
    One scripture that comes to my mind right now is Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus invites us to come to Him and exchange yolks with Him. Thus leving our burdens at His feet or the foot of the cross. But nowhere in that scripture does it say to speak about all of the troubles that are happening.

    John, i personally see this happening everyday. People speaking all of the troubles that are going on in their life. Do you know where it gets them....down in the dumps. And they never get out of it because as the Bible says we have what we say, and we will be held accountable for every "idle" word that comes out of our mouths (Matthew 12:34b-36). That word idle means non faith filled. So you can speak and tell God all your troubles if you desire, but when your situation is still the same, and no changes have been made...then try speaking the Word of God and only the Word of God...so that the angels that were sent to minister to you, have something to do. For they cannot act on any words other than The Word of God. I pray that God Bless and reward you mightily for your obedience, and love for others.
    Fish Catcher Jim likes this.
  11. Hmm i know some people think differently and its not good to complain if thats all you ever do.

    If we do have troubles though, we need to talk them over with God because he cares for us and wants us to tell him if we worry bout something. Its just being honest about life...and that you need help. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble...being humble means you admit that you arent perfect, and that God can do all things...to perfect you. He is always with us in times of trial and tribulation. To dismiss other christians when they go through hard times is not right.
  12. I think just need discernment. You might notice if someone is blaming God for not getting what want and behaving like they entitled or just sharing with you something they going through that needs prayer. Some christians arent great at praying for their own needs, or they just dont know how.

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