Have you ever tried to help someone only to be second guessed, accused of manipulating, or of having some hidden, evil agenda? I once had a leader who was quick to complain about his higher headquarters. Despite the faults he found in others, his performance was consistently weak. For his own betterment I removed him from his position. I shared with him my intentions and then explained why his behavior was detrimental to our organization.
He thanked me for being candid and said I was the first leader he served that had shared such observations. He finally admitted that his conduct was poor and agreed it was best to move to another job. But behind my back he sang a different tune. He badmouthed me to his replacement. He threatened to attack me physically if he ever got the chance. He was bitter and vile instead of grateful.
Deuteronomy 1:26,27—But you were not willing to go up, rebelling against the command of the LORD your God. You grumbled in your tents and said, “The LORD brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites so they would destroy us, because He hated us.”
It wasn’t their idea! They didn’t want to leave Egypt. It was easier to endure abuse than to move and suffer the inconveniences of change and facing the unknown. They watched God work ten awe-inspiring plagues against the Egyptians and free them. But as soon as Pharaoh’s army came after them, they cried out to Moses, “Isn’t this what we told you in Egypt: Leave us alone so that we may serve the Egyptians? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness”(Exodus 14:12).
Despite God drowning the army that pursued them, as soon as they ran out of water and food they complained like petulant children. Somehow these Israelites didn’t believe that the Lord who miraculously extracted them could actually feed and provide water. It wasn’t their idea to survive in the desert! They preferred leeks and onions to manna.
God wanted to bless them. He would bring them into the Promised Land. It wasn’t their idea. They had no intention of living in a place they had forgotten—it was much easier to grumble in their tents. First, they would rather live by their own flawed plan than inherit God’s promise. Second, it was far easier to grouse than to believe in a Lord they did not trust. When worship subsists in whining, the loving God is accused of hating.
Complaining is not a technique to improve poor conditions, it is a statement of condemnation against another’s agenda. Perversity is the logical outflow of complaining. If I can’t have my way, I will sabotage your way. Never tolerate perversion. It will suck the life from all who abide it and spoil the spirit of any who are infected. Avoid it like the plague it is!
Perversity means to turn away from one to whom I have been devoted because he or she says things that do not suit my ideas.—Oswald Chambers in Philosophy of Sin
©2011 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)