The Trap. Addictive Lovers of our Life, Part 5


"This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You said, 'Woe to me! The Lord has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.'" [The Lord said,] "Say this to him: 'This is what the Lord says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the land. Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.'" (Jer 45:2-5 NIV)

How easy it is to feel sorry for yourself!

Isn't it aggravating to see your colleagues doing nothing, while you work like a slave to get the job done?  And to make matters worse, when it's all finished they are the ones who get the credit for the job, while you are treated like a second-hand citizen!  What an opportunity to grumble, to let out the poison that invades your soul:

"Poor me! This is so unfair! If I were in charge, things would change! Look at those worthless gnats!"

Grumble…grumble…grumble…

Jeremiah's scribe, Baruch, knew exactly how you feel.  He had written Jeremiah's words on a scroll and delivered it to the court. Then he was forced to watch while the king became raving mad and burned the scroll, totally disregarding the delivered message. And then to make matters worse, Baruch was treated with contempt. 

Who did that king think he was!

The same kind of thing happened when Israel had finally been conquered by the Babylonians.  Baruch delivered a message to a group of rebels, telling them to stay in the country instead of hiding in Egypt.  The response?  The rebels accused Baruch of working with the Babylonians (see Jer 43:3)!

Enough is enough!  Baruch had tried to deliver God's messages to all of these ungrateful, second-rate citizens, and look how they were treating him!

Grumble…grumble…grumble…

How easy it is to identify with Baruch!  We have all had our fair share of unfair treatment as well. We also have plenty of reason to grumble!

Grumble…grumble…grumble…

But do we really realize the truth about grumbling?  That grumbling can lead to destruction, not only of those we grumble about, but of ourselves as well? Where are these people heading? Heaven? Hell?  If they are on the wrong path, why are we encouraging them to pursue their road to destruction? Don't we have a mission to rescue the lost ones?

Has grumbling become a mistress?  An secret excuse for not carrying out the Great Commission?

Have you noticed that when you are in the mood to grumble, unforgiveness pops up and sours your entire day!  Things that were done to you in the past that you had forgiven return to your memory, causing the anger to rise again!  Suddenly you are filled with desires of vengeance, anger and torment!

Where did these emotions come from? What truly happened?

Is it possible that the evil one is the one causing these emotions?  Not only to rob us of our inner peace, but also to keep us from our given mission?  Are the worthless gnats really the ones we should be complaining about?  Or should we, instead, be using the occasion to realize how hollow and empty we, ourselves, are? Have we fallen into the devil's trap?

A hunter takes delicate care to disguise his trap with a juicy piece of meat. If I were a wild hare, I, too, would stop in my tracks and lick my chops.  I wouldn't realize until it was too late that this was nothing but a trap in disguise, a trap that would only rob me of my life and my purpose.

Grumbling about others is another effective snare the devil uses to make us ineffective, a trap in disguise, a mistress who robs us of what we could become.

James tell us: "Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged." (James 5:9 NIV) and Peter admonishes: "Show proper respect to everyone." (1 Peter 2:17 NIV)

"But you don't understand! I am really being treated unfairly! Those people are just horrible! I can't go on like this!"

Grumble…grumble…grumble…

Tell that to our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted in Asia. Not a single complaint come from their mouths!  Instead they count it a blessing to suffer the way Jesus' did, and they can't stop praising God for considering them worthy of their ordeal!

"With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends, this can't go on. A spring doesn't gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don't bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don't bear apples, do they? You're not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?" (James 3:9-12 The Message)

Rob Chaffart

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