By Tope Banso
“Do all things without murmurings and disputing” (Philippians 2:14 King James Version).
One of the dictionary definitions of murmur is “to complain about somebody/something, but not openly.” There is nothing wrong in politely lodging complaints at the right quarters but to murmur is a bad habit.
In the Bible, the Israelites were an embodiment of murmuring. They murmured against Moses, their leader (Exodus 15:24; 16:2; 17:3; Numbers 14:36), against Aaron (Numbers 16:11), against Moses and Aaron together (Number 14:2; 16:41) and, in fact, against God (Numbers 14:27, 29).
Murmuring is a sin which a child of God should run away from. Here are ten reasons you should not murmur and most of them are from the study of the Israelites.
10 Reasons you should not murmur
1. Murmuring displeases God and provokes His anger, and God’s anger can result in judgment. As regards the Israelites, Numbers 11:1 says, “And it came to pass that when the people murmured, it was evil in the ears of Jehovah; and Jehovah heard it, and his anger was kindled, and the fire of Jehovah burned among them, and consumed [some] in the extremity of the camp” (Darby’s Translation).
The Bible warns in James 5:9, “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned” (New King James Version). The Greek word translated grumble here is stenazo and one of its meanings is murmur.
Murmuring against fellow human beings especially God-ordained leaders or murmuring against what God approves, amounts to murmuring against God (Exodus 16:7). It has negative consequences.
2. It is unproductive. It is a waste of energy and time; it puts you in a bad mood such that you may not think clearly and do the right thing. Murmuring over what you can’t change is useless. Murmuring gives you a bad image; grumblers irritate people.
3. Murmuring could be a show of ingratitude to God for what He has done, looking at the big picture. You can be murmuring over one or two things you’re dissatisfied with while you’re blind to several others that are satisfactory.
In Matthew 20:1-16, the workers in the vineyard who were hired first and murmured when they were paid were just being ungrateful. They could have gone home empty-handed that day if the landowner had not gone to the marketplace to hire them. But they were grumbling that the workers employed last, who worked only for one hour, were paid the same amount the landowner had agreed with them.
4. Murmuring breeds unnecessary anger. James 1:20 says, “Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight” (New Living Translation). When you murmur you get angry and become even
5. It doesn’t promote love; it promotes strife, disaffection, and disunity. Luke 5:30 says, “But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?” (King James Version). The Greek word the King James Version translates as murmured in this verse is gogguzo, which means to grumble.
In Luke 15:2, the Bible says, “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, ‘This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them’” (King James Version). They were murmuring against Jesus. A similar thing is recorded in Luke 19:7: “And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner” (King James Version). The crowds were displeased. This is how the New Living Translation presents it: “But the crowds were displeased. ‘He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,’ they grumbled.”
Murmuring promotes strife, disaffection, and disunity. This happened in the early church and the leaders had to address it quickly. Acts 6:1 says there arose a murmuring of the Greek-speaking Jews against those speaking Hebrew. Murmuring often concentrates on self: self-interest, self-opinion, etc. thereby making one selfish. Love does not seek its own (1 Corinthians 13:5).
6. Murmuring encourages disobedience to God’s word and civil authorities. Talking about the Israelites, the writer of Psalm 106 says they “murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD” (Psalm 106:25 King James Version).
7. It can prevent one from receiving and understanding the Word of God in the Spirit but in the flesh. John 6:41 says, “The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven” (King James Version). The Jews murmured at the teaching of Jesus that He was the bread from heaven because they received and understood it in the flesh.
8. It gives one a victim-mentality and can make one feel that God hates you. Deuteronomy 1:27 says about the Israelites: “And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us” (King James Version). But that was not true. God loved them and had good plans for them. Unfortunately, they saw themselves as victims of God’s hatred. They made a loving God their enemy.
9. Murmuring is not good for your spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health. It kills destinies. Because of the murmuring of the Israelites, God declared that those from twenty years old and above among them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, shall not enter the land which He had sworn He would make them dwell in. They all died in the wilderness as the LORD had said except those exempted (Numbers 14:26-30).
Learn from this. Avoid murmuring. Also learn from the judgment on Korah, Dathan, and Abiram whom the ground opened and swallowed up with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. They perished and fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense (Numbers 16:1-3, 31-35). 1 Corinthians 10:10 says, “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer” (King James Version).
10. You should not murmur or complain because God is in control of your life and He’ll work all things together for your good including what you want to murmur about. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 New King James Version). God knows what He is doing so you don’t need to murmur.
Murmuring is not the Spirit of Christ. Any time you’re tempted to murmur or grumble, remember Paul’s word: “Do all things without murmurings and disputing” (Philippians 2:14 King James Version). Instead of murmuring, thank God. If you have any genuine complaint, lodge it with the appropriate person or authority instead of murmuring or grumbling.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me of my murmuring in the past. I receive the grace to do everything without murmurings and disputing. Holy Spirit, help me to thank God instead of murmuring. Father, I shall not murmur anymore because You are in charge of my life and You know what You are doing.
▪︎ Banso, an Abuja-based Minister, heads
Cedar Ministry International, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com; Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523; and
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947