On Wednesday night at church we are doing this study by James MacDonald. I bought the book and just finished Chapter 1 (well, I'm almost finished with it). Here are some excerpts:
Replace a complaining attitude - Chapter 1
Read Numbers 11:1-3. Complaining is an attitude choice that if left unchecked will wither my capacity to experience joy and genuine thankfulness.
When we express resentment over circumstances that are beyond our control and about which we are doing nothing, we are complaining. God hears it, hates it, and pushes everyone who persists in it toward the wilderness. Remember that those who choose complaining as their lifestyle will spend their lifetime in the wilderness.
I loved this statement: Until we embrace as fact the idea that we choose our attitudes, we will never be able to choose differently, and life will always be like a wilderness. By admitting you made the choice, you put yourself in a position to make a different choice next time.
God is directly affected when He hears our complaining and our wrong attitudes, because complaining questions God's sovereignty!
These sentences opened my eyes: Every one of us has a measure of adversity, and God Himself is the one who measured it out. And for that reason, every person has something in his or her life that God doesn't want to hear complaints about. You are forfeiting the grace that could help you through that trial by complaining about it. That very adversity that you so often complain about is the thing God wants to use to keep your heart close to His. In His grace, He grants adversity to bring us close to Him.
The bad thing isn't our adversity; it's our response. They (the Israelites) were longing for things that God was not willing to give them.
God hears our complaining (whether verbal or in our hearts) and He hates it! It breaks His heart. It's a slap to His face. It insults His grace. And He is angry.
I'm excited about the change in my life.