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Grumbling About God’s Provision

FaithFi: Faith & Finance | May 24, 2023


Show Notes

Philippians 2:14-15 tells us, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish. Is that a passage where you look for a little wiggle room— to rationalize that it can’t mean exactly what it says? After all, what’s the harm in a little grumbling? We’ll talk about that on this Faith and Finance. 

  • First of all, there’s no wiggle room here. In Philippians 2, Paul says do all things without grumbling or disputing, not just some things. That means when the boss piles on extra work or you get a flat tire, you’re supposed to accept it without complaint. Pretty hard to do though, right? And Paul lumps “disputing” in with grumbling, seeing both of these sins as serious flaws that could destroy unity in the church.
  • It’s much more natural to complain about our spouses, children, friends, our bosses, and elected leaders. We grumble because we can’t find anything to wear in a closet stuffed with clothes or anything to eat in a ‘fridge’ that’s full of food.
  • One of our favorite complaints is that we don’t have enough money. 
  • But it’s important to understand that grumbling is actually rebellion against God. 
  • Whenever you find fault with your boss, your bank account, or your spouse— you’re really finding fault with God. He is the One Who’s given you those gifts, and your grumbling is discontent with His provision.
  • It’s also important to know that God does not view grumbling lightly. He even imposed the death penalty on Israelites who complained about being in the desert. In Numbers 21, the Lord sends a plague of serpents on the grumblers and many died. Ultimately, a whole generation of them wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land.
  • If we looked at our carping and complaining from God’s perspective, we would probably better understand the wrath He unleashed on the Israelites. He brought them out of slavery and provided for their every need in the desert. But showing an amazing lack of gratitude, they were soon complaining that life was better when they were slaves of the Egyptians.
  • God has given us everything we have, and of course, the greatest gift is that of His Son on the cross for our salvation. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, our sins are forgiven, and our sin debt is canceled. We’re clothed in the righteousness of Christ. 
  • As Paul says in Philippians 2, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish.” 
  • We should be content because we know that anything we experience on earth is temporary … but that our life with Christ in heaven will be eternal. That contentment, when everyone else is grumbling, is a powerful witness for Christ. To find that contentment, we must focus on Christ and not ourselves.
  • That’s exactly what Paul did. He was shipwrecked, beaten, and ultimately martyred for proclaiming the Gospel. In Philippians 4:12-13 he says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
  • There are several barriers to finding the kind of contentment in Christ that Paul describes. One of the greatest is spiritual. We lack the understanding that God owns everything, including us, and that it’s His decision what, when, and how He provides for us. It takes spiritual growth and discernment from the Holy Spirit to get that.
  • Another barrier to contentment is cultural. We’re constantly bombarded with messages of scarcity and materialism. Commercials tell us “You can have it all.” Bumper stickers proclaim, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But wins what, exactly? Certainly not contentment. Often the more stuff you have, the less content you are.
  • Finally, there’s also a personal barrier to contentment. We allow worldly influences to dictate whether we’re satisfied with God’s provision, rather than Scripture, which repeatedly instructs us about the blessings of humility and contentment.
  • So when you’re tempted to grumble, pray for a spirit of gratitude about what God has already given you. Be thankful that God has kept His promise to provide for your needs!

On this program, Rob also answers listener questions: 

  • How do you determine whether it’s time for a career change later in life? 
  • What is the best legal path, tax-wise, to pass your property to your adult children? 
  • How is interest accrued on an I-bond? 
  • Career Direct

Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. 


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