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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Gift of Grumbling

Charles Spurgeon was a great preacher of the 1800s. He told the following story:
A heavy wagon was being dragged along a country lane by a team of oxen. The axles groaned and creaked terribly, when the oxen turning around thus addressed the wheels, “Hey there, why do you make so much noise? We bear all the labor, and we—not you—ought to cry out!” Those complain first in our churches who have the least to do. The gift of grumbling is largely dispensed among those who have no other talents, or who keep what they have wrapped up in a napkin.
--Charles Spurgeon from The Quotable Spurgeon

God has always maintained an aversion to grumbling and complaining. Throughout Scripture, one can find serious commands against and punishments for these grave sins. An entire section of a biblical book—Numbers—offers story after story of God’s displeasure with these core issues, ranging from chapters eleven through twenty-one. Even Moses was not immune from the anti-God spirit, and he lost the Promise Land over it.

Paul phrased God's desires succinctly in his letter to the Philippians:

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. NLT


  1. Mark,
    At a workshop for learning strategies targeting different kinds of learners, I once learned that an auditory learner learns the BEST by what they hear themselves say. So the grumbler and complainer may be doing an excellent job of teaching themselves to be discontent.

  2. Diane,

    That is an exellent observation. Thanks for sharing.