We know that the Lord hates sin. It is the cancer that destroyed His perfect creation. It is the poison that continues to cause havoc in our world. It is the cross upon which His Son hung dying. He could not be a loving God if He was indifferent to something that has brought so much destruction.
Yet, have you ever wondered if there are some sins that really (I mean REALLY) get under God’s skin?
It would seem in my Bible reading this morning (Numbers 9-11) that there is one sin in particular that really ticks God off. It is the sin of complaining and whining.
Numbers 11:1 (New Living Translation)
“Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp.”
Numbers 11:10 (New Living Translation)
“Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the Lord became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated.”
It is clear from this chapter (and many others in the Old Testament) that God can’t stand complaining and whining.
So, as we recognize that God is the ultimate Leader and that learning from Him can help us become more effective influencers (leaders), let’s ask the question: “What is it about complaining and whining that is so bad?” Pure and simple, complaining and whining is the natural result of a people who are showing their disapproval of the leader or the leader’s plans.
If I could draw an analogy, it would be like a leader in the driver’s seat with his/her hands on the steering wheel and their foot on the gas pedal while driving down the road to a desirable future. However, someone else in the car (the complainer) keeps engaging the emergency brake! It directly undermines anything/everything the leader is doing.
That much is seen in the following verse…
Numbers 11:20 (New Living Translation)
“…For you have rejected the Lord, who is here among you, and you have whined to him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”
Complaining and whining, if it is left unaddressed, will undermine anything and everything positive a leader desires to do. It is the cancer that will kill a body. It is the sinkhole that will swallow up a building. A wise leader must address it.
If a leader knows that complaining is a problem among those he/she leads, they would do well to investigate. Maybe there are legitimate problems that the leader needs to address and fix. That is the leader’s job. He/she paints the sky that those who follow them fly in. The leader would do well to make sure the sky is as free of hindrances as possible.
Yet, if complaining continues to be a problem, the leader may have to take further measures. A confrontational meeting may be in line. Maybe a replacement will need to be found. A complaining spirit really is a major problem and must be addressed.
Whether you are a pastor, boss, manager, parent or some other person of influence, you must address complaining if it is present.
But … maybe you are the complainer. Many of us are from time to time. We would all do well to live out the truths of Philippians 4:11-13 (New Living Translation) –
“… for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”