What follows is summary highlights from a book entitled, Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It's Too Late (James MacDonald. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008).
Introduction: Negative murmuring attitudes will keep you in the wilderness (negative place), but positive attitudes of praise will get you to the Promised Land (positive place). People tend not to do the hard work of changing, until they are convinced that what they are doing is not working.
Attitudes are patterns of thinking formed over a long period of time. Replace bad with good (see I Cor. 10:1-3, 7-10), now. Forty days of negative thinking led to forty years in the wilderness (see Num. 14:34).
Numbers 11:1-3, I Corinthians 10:11 are key passages. "When we express dissatisfaction with a circumstance that is not wrong and about which we are doing nothing to correct, we are complaining." We choose our attitudes. Confess your attitude problem and pray for strength to change. Complaining is sin. It harms us - anger, depression.
You upset God. It questions God's sovereignty. It hurts the people around you - you are bringing them down. Criticism is about people, complaining is about circumstances. God hears are complaining (see Num. 11:1). We complain against God who places a certain amount adversity into our lives for our good (see Heb. 12:5-6). We make a perfect adversity free life our god (see Jonah 2:8).
God hates complaining (see Num. 11:1, 33; Ps. 7:11). Think about your anger over your children complaining about your provision for them, after you have done your best - God may feel like that. A lack of laughing implies a wilderness attitude. Matthew 12:43-45 teaches that the bad must be replaced with the good to prevent more bad from happening.
Discussion Questions regarding Complaining (use extra paper as needed):
1. What definition is given for “attitude,” in the introduction?
2. What definition is given for “complaining,” in the complaining paragraph?
3. Complaining is _______. It harms _______, upsets ________, and hurts the ___________ around us.
4. Explain how Numbers 11:1, 33; Psalm 7:11; and Hebrews 12:5-6 support the ideas that (1) God hates complaining, and (2) He puts a certain amount of adversity into our lives for our good.
5. What is your response to the statement above that says, “Think about your anger over your children complaining about your provision for them, after you have done your best - God may feel like that.”?
6. What else would you like to share about an attitude of complaint?
Conclusion: So many people want “Promised Land blessings,” but have “Wilderness attitudes.” Let’s work on our attitudes.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.