Increase and Complaint
Acts 6:1 ¶ Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food.
Things were going well in the new church. People were coming to Christ on a daily basis and yet, this resulted in growing pains. While some were rejoicing at what was happening, others were complaining. The growth revealed a lack of organization and an inability to keep up with the ministries in an orderly fashion. People complained.
We get so excited when God works and people are becoming disciples and yet, soon there comes a moment when people start complaining. Honestly, the complaints can feel a little like being punched in the stomach. Why do people have to complain when God is moving? Maybe it’s just human nature, or maybe there’s a lesson for us to learn.
God moved and stretched the little band of disciples beyond their comfort zones and into realms they had never before imagined. The complaining of the people actually helped them to work on an action plan. No longer could they function in the way they had in the past. There had to be more organization to minister effectively.
The complaining made them seek guidance from the Lord. They’d never been in this situation before — having too many disciples! It was a good problem and yet it created new problems.
We must realize that when God moves there will be accompanying “problems.” There will be those who will complain about what is happening because they may feel short-changed in the process. These are opportunities to seek the Lord and make changes that will respond to the needs. This is how we grow to the next level — by having complaints! If there had been no growth, there would have been no complaining.
Rejoice in complaints and see them as opportunities to adjust and become better at ministry. This is what the disciples did in the early church and the ministry began to take form. We have a choice to make when it comes to our response. We may become defensive and frustrated, or we can work together with God to find solutions. The solutions of the disciples led to the structure of the early church with an ability to multiply ministry over and over again. The complaining was for their good and they learned and adjusted. Let’s find the solutions to the good problems God is providing today.
Lord, thank you for increase and complaints. Amen.