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What is More Contagious than the Flu?

Do you know what is more contagious than the flu? You might disagree, but complaining is more contagious than the flu in my book. In college, I worked as a student assistant at a state office. The people there were charming but complained all day long about everything.

They complained about their cafeteria, which they lovingly called “Barfeteria.” They complained about their hours and responsibilities, and you did not want to be around them if they had to stay a minute longer than their regular 8-hour day.

Since I was a student, I made less money than they did and worked just as hard as they did. When I first got the job, I was thrilled about it, but by the time I left for Bible School, I was complaining about my work as much, or even more than they did. Complaining is contagious.

God told the Israelites that He would give them a land that flowed with milk and honey. Moses sent twelve spies to check out the Land when they arrived at its borders. You know the story. Two returned with an excellent report, and the other ten returned with a terrible one. Their bad report spread among the people quicker than the flu germs at daycare around flu season.

All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Numbers 14:2, 4 (NIV)

My friends, we live in a world that promotes unhappiness. No matter how blessed we are, we always want more (or less if we're talking about things like fat). We will join our nearest “Murmuring Club” unless we protect our hearts from murmuring and complaints. The question, then, is, how do we protect our hearts from grumbling, murmuring, and complaining?

We do it by keeping our eyes on Christ and our hearts in His words. Dissatisfaction comes to us when instead of looking at Christ, we set our eyes on the world. Our faith in Christ sustains us in our trials while we walk through fire. No matter how high the waters of tribulation get, with our eyes on Christ, we do not drown. Our eyes on Christ keep our mouths praising instead of complaining.

If we look at Christ in abundance, our hearts rejoice and are grateful. If we do not, our hearts start worshipping that abundance. If we lose it, we immediately start complaining. My friends, it is possible to live in gratitude without murmuring, but it requires our discipline, God’s grace, and a little distance between the “Murmuring Club” and us. Let us do our best not to get infected.

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