The following is the American Heritage Dictionary definition of murmuring:
mur·mur n. 1. A low, indistinct, continuous sound: spoke in a murmur; the murmur of the waves. 2. An indistinct, whispered, or confidential complaint; a mutter. 3. Medicine. An abnormal sound, usually emanating from the heart, that sometimes indicates a diseased condition. --mur·mur v. mur·mured, mur·mur·ing, mur·murs. --intr. 1. To make a low, continuous, indistinct sound or succession of sounds. 2. To complain in low mumbling tones; grumble. --tr. To say in a low indistinct voice; utter indistinctly: murmured his approval. [Middle English murmure, from Old French, from Latin murmur, a humming, roaring.] --mur“mur·er n. --mur“mur·ing·ly adv. --mur“mur·ous adj. --mur“mur·ous·ly adv.
God has made it clear in His word that He hates constant complaining. The Israelites in the Wilderness constantly complained and murmured about their circumstances, and they all perished in the Wilderness. Only two went into the Promised Land and they were Joshua and Caleb.
We are currently on the verge of entering into the kingdom of heaven at the Firstfruits Rapture, and no doubt, many Christians will be left behind because of their constant complaining about their circumstances. Paul tells us what our attitudes should be in the following verse:
(Phil 4:11 KJV) Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
(1 Tim 6:8 KJV) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
(Heb 13:5 KJV) Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
(3 John 1:10 KJV) Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
When we murmur or complain about our circumstances, we are not murmuring against our fellow Christians, but against God. The following Scriptures confirm this:
(Exo 16:7 KJV) And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?
(Exo 16:8 KJV) And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.
(Num 14:27 KJV) How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.
(Num 14:36 KJV) And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
(Num 17:5 KJV) And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.
The murmuring of the Israelites in the Wilderness should be an example for Christians to avoid, as they were destroyed for it. Jesus Himself warns us against murmuring or complaining in the following verse:
(John 6:43 KJV) Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
Paul uses the analogy of the Israelites in the Wilderness to warn us against murmuring:
(1 Cor 10:9 KJV) Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
(1 Cor 10:10 KJV) Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
(1 Cor 10:11 KJV) Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Verse 11 above confirms that the end of the ages (i.e., world) comes at the end of the Church, and that we should heed what happened to the Israelites because of their murmuring against the Lord.
When we complain and gripe about our circumstances, we are complaining about God, for it is He that has ordained our circumstances. The hardships and trials that we go through mold our character and determine our resilience for further trials and hardships. Our current life on this earth is a training ground and test center for the kind of person we will attain to at the time of judgment. If we allow these trials and hardships to mold us and shape us into strong, Christ-like individuals, then we will save our souls and enter into the kingdom of heaven.
In contrast, if we constantly complain about our hardships and trials, then our souls will perish at the judgment seat of Christ and we will fail to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The choice is ours.
In addition to complaining about our circumstances, many Christians constantly complain about their fellow Christians. The Christian who constantly complains about others needs to take a hard, close look at himself. There is a story that reveals the truth of this statement:
A man worked at a gas station, and one day a lady drove in to purchase gas. She stated that she was moving to the town and asked what the people were like. The attendant asked what the people were like in her previous town of residence. The lady said they were discourteous, thoughtless, mean and annoying. The attendant said that she would find that the people were pretty much the same in this town. The lady thanked him and drove away.
Shortly, another lady drove into the station for gas and stated that she was also moving to the town and asked what the people were like. The attendant asked the same question, and the lady said the people in her previous town were very courteous, thoughtful, kind and considerate. The attendant told this lady that she would find the people pretty much the same in this town.
The Christian who is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent will likely attract the same kind of people. The person who constantly complains and murmurs will attract the same kind of people. There is an old adage that states, “Misery loves company,” so miserable people attract the same kind of people.
Please take a close look at yourself and determine if you are a constant complainer, or one who is content in your circumstances. If you are a constant complainer, you need to determine in your heart that you will cease to be this kind of person immediately. You need to call upon the power and authority of Jesus Christ to help you become a new person right now who is content in his present circumstances.