My next stop during this month of no grumbling took me to the book of Numbers in the Bible. I am not going to go into all the details of chapter 16 as I really only want to use a portion of my 500 words (that is the maximum number of words in any article before your eyes glaze over and you lose all interest in the point of the post ).
Chapter 16 is filled with jealousy and comparisons, and the awful price a disgruntled people paid for not listening to God.
It all started when a few people got jealous of their leaders, of God’s anointed leaders; they gathered a few more into their fold with their complaining and comparisons. Then others became unhappy with this and that. It was an opposition against Moses and Aaron.
Really? No, Moses and his brother were anointed by God so the uprising was actually rebellion against Him.
Jealousy is a poison. Comparisons can be deadly. When we look at others and long for their talents, and their gifts, we become discontent with our own. In God’s Word, we’re told that we all have gifts.
“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly…” Romans 12:6. “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” Ephesians 4:7.
Yet we neglect to nurture our own if we keep looking around us at others.
Not only do comparisons cause us to grumble, but our complaining is often contagious. God dealt gravely with those who rebelled in that book of Numbers, but let’s read the last sentence in that very same chapter, “The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron…”. (Numbers 16:41)
But , “The very next day...”? The very same chapter, the very next day. How can that happen? How can memories be so short? Unfortunately, as a fallen people, they didn’t always learn the lessons God put in their lives. We don’t either.
“I want to speak like her”
“I would love to write like him”
“Why can’t I teach like her”
Comparisons. Grumbles. Discontentment.
We sometimes see the error in our way, and ask God to forgive us. And we are happy with our own talents and gifts…. for about 2 days. Then we do it all over again.
We are those people. At least I am those people.
Friend, stop looking around. Look up and then look within. What is your talent? What are you good at? Where are your passions? Find those things and nurture those things. When you are doing what God created you to do, you will find satisfaction and contentment.
And God will be glorified in you.
Oops, I used all 500 words; I hope you stayed with me!