Our Message July 10th, 2022 Brother Justin included these 4 common types of Complainers. Can you find yourself in one of these? I sure did. Enjoy
I. FOUR COMMON TYPES OF COMPLAINERS
1. THE WHINER— These people wake up negative. Instead of rise & shine… they rise and whine. David, God love him, whines all through the Psalms. Now, if you’re going to complain… complain to God. You’re allowed. But at the end of the day, you need to suck up your quivering lower lip and decide to trust God. Listen to this paraphrase of David’s whining in Psalm 73:13, “Have I been wasting my time? Why take all the trouble to be pure? All I get out of it is trouble and woe.” The tell-tale sign of the whiner is: “It’s not fair. I don’t deserve this.” Gloom, despair & agony on me, woah! Now, I know some people have serious, real, genuine mental health issues. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about whiners. People that consistently only see that bad in life!
Jesus tells a parable in Matthew 20:11-12 about a landowner who hired day workers to harvest his crops. And some of them he hired early in the morning. Others he hired later in the day, even right up to the last shift. But when he started handing out paychecks, everybody got the same. It didn’t matter if they worked 10 hours or 1 hour. What do you think happened? Whiners! “They began to grumble (say grumble) against the landowner… you have made them (who started later) equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.” [Explain if needed.] Friends, sometimes life is not fair. It willbe fair in Heaven, but we’re not there yet. God will settle the score on judgment day. Complaining about it today only makes you more miserable and spreads that toxic attitude. It doesn’t help. It doesn’t work. Don’t be a whiner – that’s unbecoming of a Christian.
2. THE MARTYR — You know who had a hard time with this? Moses. His go-to was, “No one appreciates me.” In the OT book of Numbers, chapter 11, the Israelites start complaining because their being tested in the desert wilderness. God is meeting their needs, but they start complaining [describe]. And who typically takes the brunt of complaints? Leadership. In this case, Moses. So, what does Moses do? Complains. Complaining is contagious. That’s another quick lesson. But listen to Moses’ response. [Read Numbers 11:11-15 from Pulpit Bible NIV]
Moses. C’mon, Bro. I know leadership is hard. Okay? I’ve been the target of heated attacks. Y’all like me now, but that’s because I’m still new. Give me another 5-7 years and I’m sure I’ll eventually tick you off. It just happens. Leadership is tough. And I think leaders are especially susceptible to this form of complaining. Don’t play the Martyr. These people are pros at having pity parties. When they are sick or under pressure, or overworked, they want everybody to know about it. “Someday… I’ll be gone. And THEN you’ll be sorry.” Ever heard that one? Yeah, that’s the Martyr. “No one appreciates me.” Let’s not go there, okay? Playing the Martyr is a bad witness for Christ.
3. THE CYNIC — Remember Eeyore from Whinny the Poo? “Oh well.” “That’s life.” “I shouldn’t expect anything better.” This is the Philosophic Complainer. You know who that was in the Bible? King Solomon. His favorite phrase was, “Nothing will ever change.” Just read the book of Ecclesiastes – but not if you’re already depressed! Listen to King Eeyore in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” One devotional paraphrased it this way: Life is useless. You spend your life working and what do you have to show for it? The world stays just the same … what has been done before will be done again. Ever heard this one? “I guess we just can’t have nice things.” I’m sorry I broke the coffee table, Mom. But just so you know. Wrestlemania was on & Hulk Hogan just body slammed Andre the Giant. All jokes aside, philosophical complaining isn’t any better – any holier – than any other kind of complaining. It will cause people not to like you and will hurt your witness.
4. THE PERFECTIONIST – Nothing is good enough. We could capture this complainer by this phrase, “Is that the best you can do?” One translation of Proverbs 21:19 says, “Better to live out in the desert than with a nagging, complaining wife.” Now, this refers to husbands, too! This is another observation from King Eeyore. He put it in the context of wives, but it’s equally applicable to husbands and fathers. Nagging perfectionists. Nothing is ever right. You know who else I think struggled with this? The Apostle Paul. Paul did know grace. But I get the feeling he was pretty hard-nosed, too. I remember in Acts that he and Barnabas took along a young man named John-Mark (who went on to write the Gospel of Mark) on that 1st Missionary Journey. But Mark chickened out just a few weeks in. We don’t know why. It just says he left and went home. Well, a few years later, Barnabas wanted to take Mark on the 2nd trip. Guess what Paul said. Look at it Acts 15:37-38, “Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.” In fact, it goes on to say that the disagreement was so sharp that Paul & Barnabas split up! Paul wouldn’t yield. Paul wouldn’t give him a 2nd chance. Ever know a perfectionist like that? You blow it once and you’re out of the circle of trust. “Is that the best you can do, Mark? No. You don’t get another chance.”
Nothing destroys the warmth of a home faster than perfectionist, grace-less complaining. That B+ in Algebra isn’t good enough. You got three hits tonight? Well, why not 4? I heard you miss a note in your piano recital. I told you you should’ve practiced more. How about in our marriages? This chicken is overcooked. You always do that! Don’t pull up that close to the curb! You’ll scratch the rims. You missed a spot mowing the yard. What are you blind? Christians don’t say those kind of things do they? Maybe not on Sunday morning. I think I’ve made my point. So, beware of these four styles of complaining. Remember that complaining produces a poor witness. But now, let’s get to the good stuff. Pastor Bill, come up and teach us how to Conquer Complaining!