I remember the movie “What about Bob?” If you haven’t seen that movie or don’t remember it then you might want to watch this clip.
Bob is completely neurotic but is learning to change with “baby steps.” Of course he doesn’t get it and this leads to some seriously stupid funny.
The thing is, grumbling and complaining doesn’t usually start big. I’m betting that they didn’t go from “Yeah, God is giving us food from Heaven” to “Manna again!?!?!? I’d rather eat me shoes than eat mana one more time” overnight. No it started small. Someone woke up and said “manna is nice, but I gotta say I’d like some meat to go with it.” He said that to himself a few times before he said it to someone else. Now he could have gone to Moses or whoever was setup over him in the system Moses setup but he started talking to someone else. That person was pretty happy to be eating food God setup for him every morning but he politely listened and maybe even tried to offer some words of advice and encouragement. After a few days of hearing the complaints he got tired of it but also started thinking that the manna was starting to taste a bit bland. Suddenly a virus of complaints took over and everyone was infected with dissatisfaction.
That’s the problem. We don’t see it till it’s too late because every step is a baby step. A handful of people are upset that something in the church isn’t quite right and a year later there is a church split because they didn’t talk to the pastor. They love the pastor and don’t want to offend him, or maybe they fear his anger. Whatever they know they can’t tell the pastor but they can’t keep it in. The grumbling begins to spread until people start to leave. That starts the rip and BAM church split.
Tonight I learned that one of my leaders told someone about something they heard … which has now come back to me. It isn’t directly about me, but ultimately it is. Now this apparently had been said a couple times before it got back to me and my problem isn’t that this person is wrong. They are right, but why didn’t they come to me directly? I’ve had this happen before with this person and a while back this person complained about the pastor to me. Nothing big but I told them to take it to the pastor.
Jesus and Paul both dealt with this and both said to go to the source first. That is the only way to resolve a situation.
Is there something about your pastor or church you are frustrated about? Have you talked to the people that can make a difference? Have you let idle words infect others? Am I overreacting?