What the Bible Says About...Complaining

Question: What does the Bible say about Complaining?

What do you do when things go wrong? How do you react? Are you a person who steps up and puts on a positive attitude or are you a complainer. Sometimes it is easy to fall into a whiney state-of-mind, and there is a clear difference between talking out a problem and complaining without looking for a solution.  The Bible has some advice and inspiration about complaining.

Answer:

Complaining Can Be a Sign of Being Ungrateful

Yes, we have all complained from time to time. Things don’t go our way and we are complaining about this and whining about that. We make excuses. Yet the Bible clearly says that complaining is a sin. It is shows an attitude that you are ungrateful and bitter. Complaining isn't just about identifying a problem.  It's about not taking responsibility and not seeing solutions. That's why it often tests God’s patience, because God doesn't ask us to be passive and wait around for things to just happen to us.  He wants us to be active in our faith and our lives, which is why He gives us a purpose.  When all we do is complain about our circumstances, we're not being grateful to Him for the things He has done for us.

1 Corinthians 10:10 - And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. (NIV)

Job 10:1 - I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. (NIV)

Complaining Can Lead to Disobedience

While the Bible says that complaining is a sin, it also states that it can lead to further disobedience. Along with complaining comes pouting. If you complain too much or focus on all the negative things, you can lose sight of all the good things God does in your life.

This can lead to an attitude where you lose faith and cause others to lose faith, too.  Remember, we're the example of God to others, so it's important that we focus on how God can work to make things better, not how bad our situations are in that moment.

Psalm 106:25 - They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD. (NIV)

Keep a Positive Attitude

Things will go wrong in your life. A pop quiz. A long term paper. A break up. A fight with your friend. These things happen. You can spend your time complaining, taking your eyes off of God, or you can find a way to make things better. You can remember all the other things God has provided. Not only will you be happier, but you will be a positive Christian example to everyone around you.  We need to be solution oriented, and it starts with looking to God to help us through a bad situation. Too often complaining just leads to more negativity, but when we stop complaining and talk through the situation, we often find a solution just waiting to be grasped.

Ephesians 4:29 - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)