“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”
“Grumbling” means to mutter, murmur, speak secretly. The idea is to express one’s discontent, to complain and murmur as a sign of displeasure. The way we carry out hospitality is important. We are to do it without complaint. A person who is hospitality oriented does not mutter or grumble at the expense and inconvenience. It is one thing to be hospitable, and it is something else to give hospitality with cheer.
“Murmur” is an onomatopoeic word representing the significance of the sound by the word. The meaning is to say anything in a low tone, as in the word “murmur” itself. “Murmur” was used for the cooing of doves and means low muttering, especially of discontent.
Ac 6:1, “Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.”
Phil 2:14, “Do all things without complaining and disputing.”
The papyri used “murmur” of the murmuring of a gang of workmen. Also, the papyri used this term of the Romans murmuring while the Emperor (late 2nd century A.D.) was interviewing a rebel.
Israel spoke against God with a complaining mentality,
Nu 14:26-27, “And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me.”
“Murmur” is a term of rebellion. “OK, God, I will do it, but I am revolting on the inside.” These statements reveal our rebellion against our lot in life. “Why do they always call on me to…” “I do not have the money to entertain.” Such grumbling is a protest against God. It is a cancerous attitude that has selfishness at its core. Selfishness pushes out love. Are you a person who only “gets” but does not “give?”
2 Co 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
A complaint is a manifestation of discontent toward our lot in life.
Grumbling does not encourage Christians nor show gratitude to God. It is a complaint against satisfaction with how God made our lot in life.
When we complain, we assail the providence of God. “God, give me my desires, but do not inconvenience me with having to deal with the problems of people.” God wants us to do this with more than just an outward smile of apparent pleasure to serve others. No, he desires that we serve others with a smile of the heart.
Do not give with a grudging attitude. If we do, we lose the blessing. When we use our car, house, finances for God, God will bless us. Do you serve out of a sense of duty? Do you complain because someone asked you to give to others?