September 18, 2023

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In many years of youth ministry I have learned that teenagers love to get mail, and if they get mail, whatever form it's in, they probably look at it. They don't actually get all that much sometimes. And then, oh yeah, well, we used to send out promotional pieces when, you know, there was snail mail. And there had to be a good attention-getter on it.

One of my favorites that we used to send out, it took up most of the page, and it said this: If you have any complaints about our group, please explain them fully in the box provided below. The box was about the size of a dime. Yeah, we really want the complaints. Obviously, the complaint box isn't big enough. For most of us, when it comes to gripes, I'm not sure we could make a big enough box to put it in.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Grumblers Anonymous."

Our word for today from the Word of God is from Exodus 15, 16 and 17. You'll be glad to know we won't be reading all of that, but you'll see a repeating pattern here. And it shows the major occupation of God's people in the wilderness and sometimes God's people today.

They've not had water for a couple of days, and so it says in Exodus 15:25, "And the people grumbled against Moses." Now, they go a little further and they're a little hungry. And so it says in chapter 16, verses 2-3, "In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, 'If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt. There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted. But you've brought us out into this desert to starve us to death.'" And then in chapter 17, verse 3, "But the people were thirsty for water there and they (want to guess?) grumbled against Moses."

They're like actors on cue. OK, we go through something we don't like, cue the grumbling. We always seem to have to talk about what isn't rather than what is. What we don't have rather than what we do have. About what's wrong rather than what's right. It seems as if we're never content just like those ancient children of Israel.

You know, there are three mistakes grumblers make. Yeah. One, they blame men for what God is doing. Did you notice they blamed Moses and Aaron? We personalize it; we break down the relationship with those people and with God. We don't find any meaning in the situation until we go to God. Like Moses did, it says "He cried out to the Lord." You can either crab to other people, or you can cry to the Lord about it.

Second mistake grumblers make is they deny the goodness of God. What you're really saying is, "God, you don't take very good care of us." Or maybe you're blaming it on some human situation, but you're really saying, "God, you haven't done a very good job." And it causes us to focus on the situation instead of on the Savior.

The third mistake grumblers make is that they poison other people - people who have never even thought about the problem. We're really positive until somebody starts grumbling. The poison spreads and finally, they forget the big picture. These people had no gratitude for the waters that had been parted or the relief they found in the desert earlier. See, when you look at the big picture, it leads to gratitude. You see the whole thing God is doing.

When you look at a close up of this hard moment, it leads to grumbling. Why don't you turn your grumbling to gratitude? There will always be full membership in Grumblers Anonymous. No more members needed there.

So why don't you resign and join a better organization - The Builder Uppers.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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