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How bad does it have to be before I can complain?

James 5:1-10

"Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of SabaothYou have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the just; he does not resist you. Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! 10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience."

     So often we are in situations that do not warrant complaints. We are stuck in traffic that we knew was going to be there because of the time and day which we travel. We get reprimanded by a boss or a teacher for failing to complete some assignment they have given us. We are the subject of someone's gossip when we have lost control of our emotions and behaved poorly. All of these are situations we complain about but that, if we're honest, we know that these are just “par for the course."  

     What about, however, when we are actually wronged due to no fault of our own? We are passed up for promotion, the boss passes our best ideas off as their own and gives us no credit. What about if lawmakers pass a law that increases taxes for us if we are married but decreases taxes for those who are in homosexual domestic relationships? Can we complain then? 

     The answer is NO... We are not to complain or grumble in any situation. This seems a bit unfair doesn't it because somehow griping and complaining seem to make us feel better about the situation. Even the Hebrews complained to God when Pharaoh put more work on them with fewer materials for production and God sent them Moses. So what could possibly be the reason that we are not to grumble and complain?

     The answer is simple .... and powerful! 

  Deuteronomy 30: 14 says: "14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it."

Deuteronomy 30: 19 says:"19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;"

 Proverbs 18:21 says:"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit."

When we combine all of these verses, the answer becomes crystal clear. When we complain and grumble, we create more death and destruction in the situation…not less. We actually call it into being. God is not against us being upset or angry about injustice, He just doesn't want us to complain with our mouths because we have so much creative power in our tongues. 

     Observe verse 4 above. The cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord. Our spirits know when we are being mistreated, and they are at unrest. This knowledge is not hidden from God. He is very aware of the situation and how we hurt because of it. He just doesn't want it to be worse for us by continually running our mouths. Vengeance belongs to the Lord not us and we just make more of a mess by complaint. The proper reaction, then is to go directly to God and ask Him how to handle the situation. Sometimes we ourselves are the problem and there are situations we need to resolve. Sometimes, He has already illustrated a course of action- such as going to your brother alone if he offends you and telling him the matter. Sometimes, we have to acknowledge that God is on our side, ask Him for the result that we would like from the situation and believe that we will receive the desires of our hearts that line up with God’s will.

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