Faithlife Sermons

Stop Complaining

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Intro:
We want to become people that others say about us, They were with Jesus...
Complaining makes us un-attractive to believers and to unbelievers. It will kill our witness. It will drive people away from us.
The problem is that complaining is a difficult habit to break because it’s so easy to do. It’s part of our Natural makeup. It’s also part of our conditioning as we grow up in our culture.
Philippians 1:27a NIV
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel
Paul is telling us to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel. So what does the Bible say about it… specifically about complaining.
One thing it says is that we should not grumble and complain.
Philippians 2:14–15 NIV
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

Four Types of Complainers

1. The Whiner: David

These people just wake up negative.
Psalm 73:13 The Living Bible
13 Have I been wasting my time? Why take the trouble to be pure?
Whiners go around saying that things just are not fair… kind of like I did today on FB about the refereeing in the Pelicans ands the Warriors games so far.
Matthew 20:11–12 GNB
11 They took their money and started grumbling against the employer. 12 ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘while we put up with a whole day’s work in the hot sun—yet you paid them the same as you paid us!’
Jesus is saying here that life isn’t fair. God never said life is fair. It will be fair in heaven, but not here. And as long as you complain about life not being fair - you will be miserable.

2. The Martyr: Moses

The favorite saying of these folks is that “no one appreciates me.”
Numbers 11:11–15 The Living Bible
11 Moses said to the Lord, “Why pick on me, to give me the burden of a people like this? 12 Are they my children? Am I their father? Is that why you have given me the job of nursing them along like babies until we get to the land you promised their ancestors? 13 Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? For they weep to me saying, ‘Give us meat!’ 14 I can’t carry this nation by myself! The load is far too heavy! 15 If you are going to treat me like this, please kill me right now; it will be a kindness! Let me out of this impossible situation!”
The people always have pity parties. When things don’t go their way, they let everyone know about it.

3. The Cynic: Solomon

Their favorite saying is … nothing ever changes…
Ecclesiastes 1:2–4 NLT
2 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” 3 What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 NLT
9 History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.

4. The Perfectionist: too many people

Fav Phrase - Is that the best you can do? Don’t you want excellence?
Proverbs 27:15 GNB
15 A nagging wife is like water going drip-drip-drip on a rainy day.
Proverbs 21:19 GNB
19 Better to live out in the desert than with a nagging, complaining wife.
These verses speak of both men and women. Nothing is ever right and these people always argue.
In a family, nothing will destroy it faster than constant nagging and complaining. If you kids are complaining too much… take a look at yourself.

How We Can Conquer the Tendency to Complain

1. Admit the tendency to complain is a problem.

That’s the first thing we have to do… confess it as a sin.
Proverbs 28:13 The Living Bible
13 A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.
This is probably the hardest thing we have to do… recognize the problem in ourselves and admit it.
If someone recorded you for a week, what would it reveal about your speech? positive… negative?
Circle Admit and confess. Complaining isn’t just a bad habit or tendency… it’s sin and it’s serious.
When the Israelites were out in the desert, God did not let a whole generation go into the promised land because they complained and grumbled.
Admit it and confess it.

2. Accept responsibility for my own life.

A lot of time, complaining is an attempt to blame other people for the problems we create. It gets the focus off of us and onto someone else.
Proverbs 19:3 NLT
3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.
Don’t complain about how the ball bounces when you are the one that dropped it. Too often, we complain in an effort to be irresponsible in our lives. When I get myself into a mess, I have no right to complain.
We are all free to choose what we will do in our lives… how we react… what we say… etc. God gives us the ability and the right to choose. But once you make the choice, you are no longer free.
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You are free to make the choice, but not free from the consequences of that choice.

People complain about being in debt after they spend money on New Everything...
People say they are not appreciated at home… work. Are you being appreciative of others.
We reap what we sow. What you want live to give you - sow it.
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Three types of people in life

Accusers

It’s your fault… Adam… that woman you gave me...

Excusers

I am a product of my environment or upbringing. It’s not my fault...

Choosers

Successful in life and take responsibility for their lives and choices.

3. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Circle ALL
Be thankful IN all situations. He did not say for all situations. Some things are BAD… EVIL. But God will bring good out of them.
We learn to be grateful for what we have. This is a big antidote for complaining.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t do your best and try to improve your life… careers.. etc.
We are to be different than the culture that complains because they didn’t get their way.
Philippians 4:11 NLT
11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
That’s maturity.

4. Look for God’s hand in circumstances.

If you want victory over complaining, look for God’s hand in your circumstances.
2 Corinthians 4:17–18 GNB
17 And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. 18 For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts for ever.
Paul says that although there are problems that come into our lives, the way you and I look at them determines our attitudes. God is always working for your good and His glory.
Every problem is temporary in light of the reality of eternity.
When I complain, I am basically saying that if I were God, I would do...
Complaining is rebellion. When I complain,

I am questioning God’s wisdom.

I am doubting God’s love.

I am forgetting God’s goodness.

Often the things that I personally complain about the most, are often the very things God knows I need the most in order to become all that He wants me to be. It is a warning light of God. He's saying, "There's something wrong here. Let's change it. Stop complaining. Start changing!" The only way you change other people is by changing yourself. Then they have to react to you differently.

5. Practice Speaking Positively.

Complaining is a sin and a habit. The only way to stop it is to replace it with a good habit - speaking positively.
Ephesians 4:29 NIV
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
The Bible says that we will give an account of every word we speak. Paul says to use our words to build people up… not tear them down.
mama - if you can’t say something good, don’t say anything.
Ephesians 6:4 The Living Bible
4 And now a word to you parents. Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice.
Parents - do your words help your kids or just make you feel better?

What are the Results of NOT Complaining?

Philippians 2:15 NIV
15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
We become blameless or pure. It means that we have integrity. Non-complainers are men and women of integrity.
We live in a negative and warped culture, and if we are positive, we will stick out. We will shine like a birhgt star at night.
Paul is saying that as Christians, we are to act and react differently than our culture. And complaining is a BAD witness.
What would happen in your workplace if all the complaining stopped? Your family?
It’s difficult, but look at one more scripture…
Philippians 2:13 The Living Bible
13 For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants.
God will help us. He will give us the desire to do it and the power to do it.
God wants to help us
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