Numbers 14:26-34, “The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live,declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: 29 In this desert your bodies will fall–every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32 But you–your bodies will fall in this desert. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years,suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert. 34 For forty years–one year for each of the forty days you explored the land–you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.'”
All of us face situations in which we want to grumble, complain, criticize, and protest. It is easy to be drawn into the pit of despair and self-pity. According to the scripture in Numbers, one day of negativity and grumbling has the power to draw us into a year of bondage! 40 days became 40 years for the Israelites and the Lord clearly declares to them, “I will do to you the very things I heard you say…” Could it be our very thoughts and words become our destiny simply because we uttered them?
I remember a psychology class I took in my beginning year of college. Our professor stressed over and over, “What you tell a child he or she is, is what that child will become.” I never forgot his statement. Tell a child he is stupid… Tell a child she is loved… Tell a child she is worthless… Tell a child he is a treasure… it is really up to you and to me what he or she becomes simply by the words which come from our mouths. For those of you managing people, it is no different. The best of leaders use words of affirmation, confirmation, and persuasion. There is no room for harsh comments, cut downs, and negativity. If you want people to follow you, it is in your words and your ability to back your words with actions; otherwise, you’re just out for a really long walk – alone.
When the enemy wants us to see all that is wrong with ourselves and our lives; with the people around us; with our children; with our careers; God wants us to see it the way He sees it – quite differently from the enemy.
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
When your tongue starts to grumble; when your attitude reflects negativity and discord, remember Philippians 4:8. Force yourself to see the positive. Force yourself to think differently. Occupy your mind with the voices of truth. Start today to change the way you see your circumstances and the people around you.