Slide 2 of 10
Complaining may seem harmless, but it stems from a negative outlook, one that we spew to everyone else, thus bringing them down with us.
In Numbers chapter 11, Scripture tells a story about the Israelites as God was leading them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. He’d rescued them from the Egyptians, brought them out of slavery, and provided for all their needs.
But as the journey continued, and they walked through the hot, dry desert day after day, they fed and voiced their negativity. Numbers 11 says, “Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them…” (NLT).
It’s interesting to note, Moses, God’s chosen leader, complained a great deal, but there’s no evidence in Scripture that this ever angered God. Why?
The difference was, Moses complained to God whereas the people complained to one another, and before long, this negativity grew, infecting the entire camp. Shortly after, Moses’ siblings criticized their brother, potentially leading to an uprising. Then, in chapter 13, when God sends scouts out to explore the land He’d already given His people, they continued what had become a culture of negativity and convinced the people that the opposition to God’s plan was greater than God Himself.
Negativity is contagious, toxic, and can lead a people group and church to believe the hard or unpleasant is greater than God.
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