Murmur and Complain While the Devil Dances

Murmur: An expression of discontent by grumbling.

Complain: To express resentment, displeasure, etc, especially habitually; to find fault or lament.

It’s not a very pleasant thing to be in the presence of someone who murmurs and complains about things they find displeasurable or in which they find fault. Sadly, it’s easy to get caught up in conversation that is less than uplifting and fruitful when the one with whom you are conversing continually laments about all that is wrong. Without a guard on the mouth, we find ourselves captivated by a murmuring spirit as we join the woeful chorus.

So, how do we resist the temptation to join others already on the slippery slope toward being the enemy’s mouthpiece?  The third chapter of James pretty much covers it. It’s called self-discipline. It’s called wisdom. In other words, think about what you say before you open your mouth. Ouch!

The problem is that the flesh loves to murmur and complain. The carnal nature of man likes to exalt himself while pointing out others’ errors or shortcomings. He likes to prove himself superior by stomping underfoot those who challenge him or think differently than him. It’s so easy to fall into the trap! But we’re told to use wisdom, not that of flesh but wisdom from above:

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13-18)

Read: College of Content (Without a Murmur)As someone who has been known to lodge a few of my own complaints and done my share of murmuring (I guarantee I’m not the only one), it has been important to me to understand the implications of falling into the traps set for me by the enemy. Although I cannot speak for you, the longer I walk with the Lord, the more opportunities present themselves to fall into the trap. The minefield of gotcha’s seems to grow as time goes on. Or, maybe it’s perhaps I’m just learning to recognize a bomb just waiting for me to trigger it. Here’s what I’m learning:

  1. The more we murmur and complain, the more the enemy is empowered. In other words, when we begin to voice our dissatisfaction in others or circumstances or things around us, the more doors we open to the enemy to interject his negative and unrighteous thoughts. Once those thoughts have taken root, they begin to grow into some major pitfalls. We can cut off the opportunity to be caught in the enemy’s traps by refusing to murmur and complain.
  2. We have two choices each time something doesn’t go the way we think it should or if someone or something doesn’t respond the way we believe they should:
    • Pray until circumstances or our hearts change and we find contentment with God; or
    • Complain and spread our dissatisfaction until everyone around us is murmuring and complaining along with us.
  3. When we have allowed ourselves the privilege to murmur and complain about things (regardless of what they are or who they involve), we become a tool in the enemy’s hands to breed distrust and faithlessness in God. We have literally become unprofitable and unfruitful for Kingdom purposes while becoming an asset to the enemy of our soul.

The lesson for us all in this is simple:  If things don’t go your way, take your displeasure to the Lord. Drop it at His feet. Deposit it at the foot of the Throne. And, leave it with Him. Don’t pick it up again. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in self-righteousness. Don’t let the enemy stir your emotions into reliving your displeasure or disapproval. Drop it and trust God that He can handle any situation far better than you (or I) ever could. He promises that for those who love God, all things work together for god, for those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).  

Thomas Watson said, “Our Murmuring is the Devil’s Music!”

Let’s be careful not to join the band making music that invites the devil’s dance!

© Jan Ross
All Rights Reserved


About the Author:

Janet Ross

Jan is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. As a wife of 45+ years, mother of six, and grandmother of 13, she sees life’s experiences as opportunities to learn the vastness of our Creator’s love. Whether through her speaking, teaching, pen and paper or her trusty laptop, spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ is of paramount importance to her. Creativity flows from her heart with passion, purpose, and proof that the Lord is the central focus of her entire life. Jan’s heart beats in constant rhythm of encouragement for today along with hope for tomorrow based on her love for the Word of God, His Body, and those who have yet to hear of His amazing and boundless love for all.

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