And don't grumble...
Sin. We acknowledge we're all sinners. As Christians we are constantly striving (or should be) to beat our sin. But just what sins do we fight? And which ones do we accept or even ignore?
We think we know which sins are greater than others. It seems pretty obvious: murder, adultery, idolatry... But do we really think about the sins we're committing and how they all hurt Jesus? Each little lie we tell; each immoral thought we have; each off color remark we make. These may seem small, and maybe they 'just' make Him 'shake His head', but they're still sin. They're still part of why Jesus died on the cross for you...
I was reading my Bible the other day, and was smacked in the mouth (pun intended!) with another sin. First, I feel I must point out that my mouth is one of my biggest problems. I talk too often, say too much, and more frequently than not, speak when I should be listening. My language could use polished, by both the words I use and the tone in which they come out. My mouth weighs heavily on my mind and in my heart. I constantly feel convicted over it. (Let me pause here and reaffirm that I have grown so much in this area, making leaps and bounds. Yet, I still have so far to go.) (Ephesians 4:29 was written for me- I'm convinced of it- Paul might as well have mentioned me by name.) Therefore, anytime I read something related to our mouths or tongue, I pay attention... So when I came across 1 Corinthians 10:10, I stopped, kicked it in reverse and reread. "And don't grumble..." Grumbling certainly comes from my mouth. And that in itself sent me in a downward spiral. Ultimately what comes out of our mouths is a vocalized version of what's already harboring in our hearts. (Matthew 18:15, Luke 6:45) So grumbling...(according to my iPad Dictionary means "to complain or protest about something in a bad-tempered but typically muted way") is my complaint that things aren't going the way I want (can we say "spoiled brat"?) My verbalizations of my grumpy heart shows my ingratitude of all that God has given me, and leaves me focusing only on what He hasn't (another pride issue- as if I have a better idea of what's best for me). And as if that weren't enough to stew on, did you notice the beginning of the verse is 'and' (or depending which version you read - 'neither' or 'nor' - basically 'in addition to')...so go back a few verses to see what this is 'in addition to'. (This chapter session is a lesson from the Exodus.) In addition to grumbling, we should not crave evil things, worship idols, overindulge in food and drink (pagan revelry), engage in sexual immorality, or test God. Am I the only one that initially thought grumbling seemed a little out of place here? The rest all seem like legit sins. But grumbling? How does that even fit in here? Hmm. Maybe that's the point of how significant grumbling is; how much it hurts God. Remember the Exodus? God cast judgment on the Egyptians for imprisoning the Israelites, His chosen people. He saved them from that life. He rescued them with multiple miracles (His presence as a cloud, parting the sea, providing food from Heaven, allowing their shoes and clothes to last 40 years, making them a nation with their own land...and how did they repay Him? They complained about everything. They were tired of traveling, tired of the rules, tired of the manna...they grumbled, leading them to other sins). Because the grumbling was, as stated earlier, a vocalized heart problem. They didn't trust God's plan. They didn't want to endure the hardship to enjoy the reward. And they certainly didn't have faith that He would do what He said He would.
Have you been there? Have you caught yourself complaining to Him about your have nots more than praising Him for your haves? Are you grateful for what you have, or grumbling for what you want? Because Jesus is our chance at our own Exodus; He's the only way out of this enslavement- (we're His chosen people) for us to witnesses His miracles. And we've all witnessed miracles (maybe not sea parting, but still...). So why should 'we' 'get away with it'? Where is our gratitude for all of our blessings? (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Where is our trust that He has a plan? (Jeremiah 29:11) Where is our faith that He will care for us, too? (Philippians 4:19)
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