by Richard Mansel
Janie finalizes supper preparations, while her husband, Sidney, sets the table. Their daughter Rebecca and Janie’s brother Larry sit down at their usual spots.
Larry asks Janie, “Why don’t we ever have squash?”
“Larry, we’ve had squash 4 or 5 times this year. But, you missed all those meals.”
“How’s that possible? Why don’t we have it when I’m here?”
“Because I buy the groceries, Larry, and fresh produce needs to be cooked. Maybe you can buy it when you know you’ll be here.”
Larry just shakes his head and mumbles that they never have squash.
Larry is like many members of the Church. They would rather complain than act as evidenced by the following examples.
- The congregation isn’t spending time together outside of worship. Yet, they don’t set up activities or attend those that are planned.
- They complain about the lack of youth activities, but don’t attend organized events.
- They protest fellowship meals because of the amount of cleanup involved but are nowhere to be seen cleaning after meals.
Why do people behave like this? By appearances, they want the church to grow. Yet their desire is illusory. Their love for complaining paralyzes them and they cannot do anything else.
When Jesus promised to go to the house of Zacchaeus, he angered the people in the street (Luke 19:1-6). Their murmuring was described as the sound of bees, which is perfect considering that bees sting (Luke 19:7).
Paul urged the Philippians to “Do all things without complaining and disputing” (Philippians 2:14, NKJV). God hates complaining because it destroys unity and stunts spiritual growth (Exodus 16:8; Numbers 11:1-4)
How can the Lord’s church ever grow if uncooperative complainers poison the congregation? They want their way rather than God’s way and the Lord will not tolerate that (Matthew 16:23; 1 Corinthians 1:10).
If we’re one of those complainers, we must wake up, repent, and work with the Lord rather than against him (John 14:15).
We must step out of our comfort zones and replace our fear with faith. We must be humble and allow God to do his work, because he is the real reason for the Church (James 4:10; Ephesians 20-21).