One of the most common complaints is, “I don’t like my job.” The person complaining may not like their boss or their hours. Their complaint may be about the pay or the office politics. Such complaining is not new. The Bible is filled with such incidents. I’ll point out two that took place shortly after the Jewish people were delivered from bondage in Egypt, about 1500 BC. At the time, Moses was God’s leader of these freed slaves.
Shortly after they left Egypt, God designated a small group to be priests and another group to be assistants to the priests. One of those assistants, Korah, wasn’t satisfied with his job, so he organized a protest. He gathered 250 community leaders and they took their demands to Moses. Numbers 16:3 records their accusations, “You [Moses] have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?” In today’s language Korah’s complaint would sound like this: “Hey, who made you boss? We’re just as good as you are. What makes you think you’re so special to be in charge?”
Shortly after the Korah incident, there were more people who protested against Moses for not giving them the things they thought they deserved. Numbers 21:5 records that “they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!’” Even though God miraculously gave them food (manna) every morning, they were upset with Him. They didn’t think He was taking very good care of them.
If you read the full stories in Numbers 16 & 21, you will find that it did not go well for these complainers. Korah and all 250 of his followers died gruesome deaths. Many who griped about their food were bitten by poisonous snakes and died. The Israelites were like spoiled children, never satisfied and always finding fault with God.
Have you ever had either of these attitudes, being upset with God or some other authority figure? I’ve had both. Honestly, when I gripe about my circumstances or another person, am I not really telling God that I think He has done a poor job in taking care of me, not meeting my expectations?
Like a wise ol’ family doctor, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 gives three vitamins to build our health and cure the disease of grumbling. It says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Here are some questions to consider to help you determine if you are getting your daily dose.
- Each day am I choosing to be joyful or am I slumping into a pity party?
- Each day am I asking God what I should do, or am I telling God what He should do?
- Each day are the words coming out of my mouth thankful or critical?
When I think of the cost to Jesus to leave Heaven and be crucified for my sin, I have every reason to be joyful, to pray, and to be thankful. I hope this next year my spiritual health grows stronger. I hope the same for you.