This is a continuation of the 73 Steps to Spiritual Communion with God. The previous posts are below and in the archives to the right. This is the 39th step:
(39) Not to be a murmurer.
I like how the dictionary defines a murmur, "a confidential complaint." Of course the complaint being offered confidentially is never directed at the person who is responsible for the complaint.
There are murmurers in the Gospel. When Jesus says to the paralytic "your sins are forgiven" the people present begin to murmur amongst themselves about what they perceive to be the presumption of Jesus to do something that is reserved to God alone, (this brings to mind the modern tendency for everyone to forgive sins or at least dismiss them as not really all that serious). Jesus hears the murmurs and addresses them directly.
If you have ever been caught murmuring by the person you are murmuring about--you probably know how they felt.
We should not murmur because we are not addressing the people that should be addressed. We should however speak out "unconfidentially" against injustices, against wrongdoing that harms others. But sometimes the things we complain about in whispered tones hardly rise to that level.
If God is God for us, there is less to murmur about. Many of the events of life that we might normally complain about will be seen to be part of a plan that is much larger than us. What we might perceive as the "wrong way of doing things" might actually lead to "God's way of doing things" being done in the long run.
Again the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis provides an excellent meditation for us on this issue.
Feel like complaining, go to the chapel instead and complain to the boss. He can do something to remedy the situation while your co-worker will only add to your misery.