Verse 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
We mentioned in our time together yesterday that it is easy for those of us born and raised in the Church to think we are exempt from the judgment against sin. Our key verse today shows some of the sins that seem more prevalent within the Church. Things we may not want to admit about ourselves but that need to be addressed.
We all know the effects of these issues in the Church. And if we were honest, we would acknowledge that we have participated in them too. These are issues that have plagued God’s people for centuries. This was one of the problems in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. And we know the New Testament Church wasn’t immune from it as we have letters from Paul and others trying to rectify these various sins that marred the image of the Christian movement.
We may think that outsiders don’t know the issues in the Church but we don’t really hide our sins as well as we think. One of the reasons for that is we seldom keep our disagreements to ourselves. We may mention it to our friend who goes to a neighboring church or maybe a coworker who doesn’t even go to church. Whether it is a fault we find with another member of the church or something the pastor said that we didn’t agree with or maybe even disliking a song or decoration, it never occurs to us to leave the topic alone.
Why do we find so many things to complain and find fault about? Could it be a bigger sin issue, like pride for example? How many of the things that we complain about are really us showing that we think that we should be the one to make the decisions? We boast about ourselves and flatter others to get what we want. This pattern of sin in the Church has caused more problems through the generations than outside sources have. Only we can start the change of living lives of gratitude and unity. We need to see that our complaining and fault finding is just as destructive in the church as the false teachers are.
Making It Personal
If you were honest with yourself, how often do you complain? What do you tend to complain about? What does what you complain about say about what really matters to you?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you ever complain? What types of things do you complain about? Does Jesus like it when you complain?
Father, we confess the many times we have not been content with things in our life. Help us see the truth behind our grumbling so that we can address it honestly. Give us wisdom about what is behind our personal preference. In Jesus’ name, amen.