FROM THE DESK OF THE PATRIARCH AND PRESIDING PRELATE
Sir Dr. Godfrey Gregg
LET US STOP COMPLAINING
Turn with me to the Book of Lamentations 3:22-40
Lord Jesus Thy word is a lamp and a light to us your children, for us to be enlightened daily and for us to see the truth in these dark days we are living in. Today as I release this message I trust that hearts will be open to receive and our souls may be blessed. O, God let the burden on my heart now be lifted and I won’t have to carry this weight again. May these words accomplish the purpose they are set forth to do. Almighty God bless the children of the Mystical Order and keep us in peace and love until Your Kingdom comes. Amen
- 22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not.
- 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
- 24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
- 25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
- 26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.
- 27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
- 28 He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
- 29 He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.
- 30 He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.
- 31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever:
- 32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
- 33 For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
- 34 To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.
- 35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,
- 36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.
- 37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?
- 38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
- 39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
- 40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.
We are all familiar with the word “complain”, which means to express dissatisfaction, pain, regret, discontent, uneasiness, resentment or grief. It means to find fault and accuse someone. It is synonymous with grumbling, whining, murmuring, lamenting, protesting and every other word that can be used to express dissatisfaction or discomfort.
To Complain is very good when it is properly channelled. Someone has offended you and you complain to someone that can take care of it that is perfect. When you complain to God about a situation and pray about it that is OK. The psalmist complained to God about the wicked ones in Psalms chapters 55 and 142. These are not bad complaints, when you poured out your hearts to somebody with the intention of taking care of these problems, it is not bad. Because of what she was going through, Hannah complained and prayed to God and God answered her.
However, our complaint is always to accuse, to protest, to find fault, it is about discontent, about why is someone having this while I am not, why is he riding a New BMW while I am just having a used car, are we not serving the same God? Is it a sin to serve you? Have you thanked God for the used car first? Or where were your God when this was happening to me? At times, when God has helped us and we have moved up or we have been promoted, we get too busy to attend to the things of the Lord and when we are asked, we begin to say it was because of the work that God has given to us. Or complaining unnecessarily about our boss or supervisor or spiritual leader, your spiritual leader may not necessarily be your Bishop, Abbess, Archbishop or Patriarch, he may be your Head of Department, your Chairman of a Committee, etc. Somebody that is ahead of you, no matter how small in the church or ministry setting maybe your spiritual leader. Why is he always telling us that we come late? Why is he always calling me to ask a question or to do one thing or the other? Why? Why? Why? Complain! Complain!! Complain!!! (Jude 16)
Whether it is hereditary or learnt I cannot really say, but I know that children as soon as they learn how to talk will start to complain, when you ask a child to do something, he or she starts to complain. We must be very firm with our children in order to get the best out of them. The earlier we discipline them and let them know that complaining is not good, the better.
Complains are directed towards ourselves, this is rare, but towards others and we as Christians mostly towards God. The first complainer in the Bible is the first man Adam, and he directed his complaint to God, “the woman that you gave to me” so we can see that to complain is natural, however, it is not scriptural and not spiritual.
EFFECTS OF COMPLAINING
The Lord is displeased
Let us read Numbers 11:1. “And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and His anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.”
The first thing we should know is that when we complain The Lord is displeased. You are not going to displease God in Jesus’ name. Because when the Lord is displeased, his anger is kindled and in the text that we have read, the Bible says that he sent fire from heaven to burn the children of Israel, and consumed those that are uttermost of the camp. The fire of the Lord will not burn us in Jesus’ name. Nobody apart from God can stop his fire, After Moses prayed to the Lord in this instance, the fire stopped, but the fact is that some were already killed. So when we are complaining about the hope that if there is a problem, we can always run to the Bishop, Abbess, the Archbishop or the Patriarch; what of the havoc that would have happened? If you read the book of Numbers chapter 11 further, you will see another instance where the children of Israel complained and God still punished them. There were so many times in the Bible that the people complained about God, and the Lord punished them. That shows that, as long as we are complaining about God, his anger cannot cease. My prayer is that we will stop complaining so that His anger will cease over us in Jesus Almighty Name.
In the book of Jude 14-16, the Bible made it clear that the Lord will come with His saint to execute judgment upon murmurers, complainers, and people that are walking after their own lusts. God will not execute His judgment upon you, but you must first stop and try to walk in His ways.
We are rejecting God
When we are complaining, we are saying that Almighty God is not our Lord. We are saying that He is not capable to be our God, he is not fit to help us, and he cannot help our situation. In Psalm 144:11-15, the psalmist requested for the things that would make people happy, in verse 14, he said that these will make complaining cease, people will be happy, and such people who do not complain has God as their Lord. We weaken our people when we fail to obey the words of the Lord. Who am I to question God or the one He has placed over me? Who am I? Why should I complain and to whom? I have learnt not to complain to God because according to the book of Jude God hates complainers. So I have concluded that prayer is my key to getting the right answer. David is telling us in the book of Psalm to be very careful what we say. I warn you not to touch the Lord’s anointed and do His servants no harm. Moses spent forty years training to be the Leader and another forty years to become the deliverer with eighty years of training the people wanted it their own way and they gave Moses a very hard time. God had a plan for them and I am telling you that we are not going into the promises of God unless we stop complaining and repent so that justice will be tempered with mercy.
Our Spirit is weakened.
The third thing we should realize when we complain is that it weakens our spirit; it becomes difficult to move forward. Let us look at Psalm 77:3. The psalmist said that “when I complained, my spirit was overwhelmed”; another version says that “my spirit faints.” Has complaining ever solved any problem apart from aggravating it? Because you are complaining that an examination is tough, has it made it easy? Or has it made you pass it? Complaining of not having a job will not get you one. Has it ever happened? In Job 10:1, we discover that complaining brings weariness to life. Job said he was weary of his life and he was disgusted with it and so he will complain without any reservation and he will speak in the bitterness of his soul. Complaints will only aggravate the bitterness of the soul. I will say this to you complaining makes enemies. So when we complain to God about His works and His people we make ourselves enemies to God. I say no more on this subject, but allow me to finish the subject and thank God for speaking to our hearts and asking Him to make us better children for His Kingdom. My brothers and sisters of The Mystical Order let us shake ourselves and walk in the vocation before us.
Another effect of complaining is that it makes our countenance sad. Have your seen anybody complain about someone smiling or laughing? It is not possible; a complainant will look sad, angry and at times dejected. In Job 9:27 while Job was complaining and accusing God, he admitted that if only he could forget his complaints, he will be able to put off his sad countenance and he will be of good cheer. Complaining will only increase our sadness, it can only make us feel worse, not better. It makes us heavy and laden with more burden. We hurt people in the process, we destroy homes and can destroy lives even a church. It is the work of the devil that came to kill, steal and destroy. In Job 23, despite Job’s bitter and rebellious complaints, he said that his suffering was only heavier. Thus, complaints apart from what we are going through have additional problems that will be placed upon us as long as we continue to complain. Oh, believers just read verse two of chapter 23 “Even today is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.”
As I conclude, complaining is a sin and God hates it when we complain, it displeases Him and makes Him send His wrath on us. Complaining also means that we are rejecting God as our Lord; it weakens our spirits and makes us be sad and feel dejected. If you have not been complaining, do not start, and if you are the type that is always complaining, the earlier you stop, the better.