February 20, 2017

Whining, Shaming, Complaining

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 20, 2017

There was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?” But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me. Exodus 17:2-4

Physical discomfort, coupled with an immediate fear of death cause the weak hearted to become tone deaf to the chord of inner truth that vibrates within them. When unmet physical needs are accompanied by a fragile faith, an ugly outcome may express itself with whining, shaming and complaining. Immature people act immature—this creates an even deeper disappointment when all parties claim to be followers of Christ—we expect better behavior from believers. Testy people put the Lord to the test—they need our patient reminder to remain true to God’s promises.

Moses had just led God’s people out of their imprisonment in Egypt—they celebrated with their Song of Deliverance to the Lord (Exodus 15)—yet their grateful praise had degraded into a dirge of discontentment—their dreams had died. Wisely, Moses took their grumbling to God in prayer. When faced with fussy followers—he sought the face of the Lord. Immediately, the Almighty reminded His people of His presence, power and provision by blessing Moses’ faithful obedience. Those who seek to shame are put to shame when they experience answered prayer.

“When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place” (Psalm 118:5).

Who in your world is agitated and angry because their expectations remain unmet and unaddressed? You may not be able to change your circumstances or meet the expectations of those who rely on you, but you can seek the Lord in humble dependence for His provision. If you lack wisdom, seek it from above to give you insight and confidence in what you need to do below. Offer a plan, even an imperfect plan, to those who are mad for not getting their way—and they will know you care and you do want to make a difference in the situation. Prayer hears God.

Whining is the world’s way to get its way, but followers of Jesus first bring their complaints to Christ before they confront their critics. A heart softened and directed by a conversation with the Lord is able to better communicate with those who have hurt and anger in their heart. No need for us to defend ourselves with frantic feelings—rather we are called to elevate the conversation to seeking Spirit-led solutions that honor everyone involved. Do not reward shameful manipulation by rashly reacting in false guilt—instead rest in God’s reassuring faithfulness.

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, grow my heart of compassion so I can care for those who only care about themselves.

Application

What prayerful solutions can I offer to a difficult person or situation?

Related Reading

Psalm 33:4, 142:2; Isaiah 29:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 1 John 1:9

Post/Tweet today

A heart softened and directed by a conversation with the Lord is able to better communicate with those who have hurt and anger in their heart. #wisdomhunters #complaining

Worship Resource

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