Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stop Complaining Part 1

Excerpts [MacArthur goes through a lot of Old Testament Scriptures on those who complained and how God dealt with them, so see the whole sermon here.]: Quote:

And I really believe we are breeding a generation of complainers and they seem to be getting worse with each passing generation. And as I've said to you on a number of occasions, it is a curiosity to me that the most indulged society is the most discontent society, that the more people have the more they seem to be discontent with what they have and the more complaining they seem to be.

In thinking about this, and there would be many ways to approach it, I was just inadvertently flipping on the radio this week and I heard a speech by a sociologist that was quite curious to me and quite interesting...And he had an interesting thesis. What he basically said was this, that in many ways this discontented generation of young people is a product of small families...Now, his thesis is that those kinds of small families in a materialistic society breed selfish, self-indulgent children.

If you are raised in a family of four, five or six children, you get up in the morning and you get handed a bag. And when you leave the house your mother says to you, "Dinner is at 5:30, you're here, you eat."

And when you go to a table in a small family and your mother has broken her back to prepare some kind of cuisine that she has taken out of an exotic cookbook and you take one bite of it, the typical one or two child family, the kids say, "I don't like it. I don't want this." In a family or five or six children, somebody says "I don't like it," the kid next to him says, "Good," and takes it.

And the difference is where you have a small family the system bends to the child. Where you have a large family, the child bends to the system. And so what you have, he said, is young people growing up in an environment where the system bends to them. And you have child-centered parenting.

The reverse is true now, children grow up controlling the family and they don't want to become adults because that means conformity. Then they have to go to work and nobody at work says, "Now how would you like your office decorated? And what time would you like to take a break for lunch?" Nobody says that, they put you on an assembly line or they put you in a place where you are forced to conform, so what you have then is a generation of young people who don't want to grow up.

One of the curses of our culture are over indulged childish kind of adults who are really complainers about everything. Nothing is ever enough. That's why we have a whole society with a critical mentality, constantly attacking everything.

Now I want you to know this has found its way into the church. And the church is full of its own complainers and what is really sad is many of them are run by their children's discontent. People leaving the church because their children don't like it. Can't imagine such a thing unless their children control the family. The church has its complainers. And here we are with so much, so in the world could we possibly complain just because every little thing in life isn't exactly the way we want it? Frankly, I would suggest to you that few sins are uglier to me and few sins are uglier to God than the sin of complaining. Frankly, I think the church at large does much to feed this thing by continuing to propagate this self-esteem, self-fulfillment garbage that just feeds the same discontent. There's little loyalty. There's little thankfulness. There's little gratitude. And there's very little contentment. And sadly what happens eventually is you're griping, grumbling, murmuring discontent is really blaming God because after all God is the one who put you where you are. So just know who you're complaining against....

One New Testament text to which I call your attention, 1 Corinthians 10. In 1 Corinthians 10 verse 8 it says, "Nor let us act immorally, don't let us act immorally, as some of them did," that is the people in the wilderness with Moses, that's who he's talking about, "and 23,000 fell in one day, nor let us test the Lord as some of them did and were destroyed by the serpents, you'll remember, the snakes," verse 10 is the key, "nor grumble as some of them did and were destroyed by the destroyer."

Now you say, "John, why did you read all of that?" I'll tell you why, look at verse 11, "These things happened to them as an example and they were written for our instruction." Now, beloved, I'll put it simply, for me not to go through that little history of Israel would be to be unfaithful to that text. That is the classic illustration of how God feels about people who are discontent and malcontent and complaining. It is a serious sin. It is directed at God who has ordered your circumstances. Complaining...and let me say it to you, and here's the definition I want you to hold on to, complaining is the symptom of a deep seeded spiritual problem. And what is that problem? Failure to trust God and failure to submit to His providential will. Complaining is a deep-seeded spiritual problem, it is not superficial. And at its roots it is a failure to trust God and that is a serious sin because if you believe not God you make Him a liar. And it is also a failure or a rejection of His providential will. It is distrust against God and non-submission to His plan and purpose in your life. It is a serious sin. God hates it and if you want to know how serious it is, He has killed people for it and He says that what He did to them, slaughtering them in the wilderness, is an example to you in the end of the age of how God feels about the sin of complaining.

Listen to Lamentations 3:39, write it down because you'll want to go back to it. Two little lines but, boy, are they profound. "Why should any living mortal or any man offer complaint in view of his sins? Who in the world are you to complain in view of your sins? What do you deserve?" You deserve hell, so do I. What should I complain about?

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