Three dumb reasons to be complaining

Numbers 11-12


It’s not as bad as you think.

I’m not a big fan of winter.  Temperatures have plummeted, it requires extra effort to get out of bed, and surrounding people are generally grumpier because they have to “deal with the weather.”

But I live in California.  Our winter is a paradise compared to most parts of the country.  We don’t see a snowflake the entire season, the heater eventually turns off because the apartment actually matches the desired temperature, and people have no excuse to get grumpy because they also happen to live in California.

But no, this doesn’t stop us from whining.  We’ll find every reason to complain, whether or not our lives are wholly convenient and stocked with every amenity invented.  Battery running low on your iPhone?  The guy in front of you driving the exact speed limit? Your favorite coffee shop raised prices by a dime? These travesties all warrant another Facebook status, don’t they?

For the vast majority of us, we have pretty much everything we could ever want or need. Some don’t have it so easy.

Consider the Israelites, departing from the oppressive slavery of Egypt: the hand of God is directly over the people, yet they persist in complaining about whatever they can come up with. Here are a few examples:

1) Whining about doing things God’s way. I’d love to have a visual manifestation of God telling me when to go and when to stop. But because God is inhibiting the people’s freedom of expression and keeping them from doing things their own way, they start complaining. Somebody call the waaaambulance.

2) Whining about stuff. God has been faithful to the nation of Israel through provision.  Before taking off from Egypt, they were given the opportunity to get everything they needed for their journey.  They were also granted an unlimited daily supply of food that they didn’t have to work for (which they also acquired through whining). God’s unwavering faithfulness to feed His people isn’t enough for them, so they start whining about it.  He gives them quail.  Lots and lots of quail.  Boo hoo.

3) Whining about other people. Aaron and Miriam are smart, holy, and well-spoken siblings. They even have their own special tribe.  But even in this, they’re jealous of their bro Moses.  Moses can be characterized as an orphan (initially), a beneficiary of royalty, a killer, a fellow complainer, and one easily stirred to anger, but he gets to talk to God personally because he’s a humble dude.  Everyone else just kinda gets God’s message second-hand.  Aaron thinks this is unfair, and he starts spreading around his disdain.  So, God pulls Aaron aside and gives him a firm talking-to. Aaron quits his sniveling soon afterward.

I think these chapters sum it up: there really only three big categories of whining much of our complaining settles into:

– Whining about the way things are.
Examples: gun violence in general (or any violence), our current President, too much rain/snow/sun, morning traffic
– Whining about the things we have.
Examples: your phone version, the size of your bed, food selection in the fridge, your job
– Whining about the way we are.
Examples: height, inability to grow facial hair, inability to sing, body’s aversion to particular foods you like

If you got out of bed this morning, took a deep breath, walked into another room and ate breakfast, you’re doing really, really well.  The rest is pretty much extra.

What are some silly things that you find yourself complaining about?

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