Complaining is something we as humans do naturally. We love to complain about work or about a certain situation or person. We complain as if to give off relief and make us feel better about what it is we’re complaining about when really all it does is make us feel worse about it. So what can we do instead of complaining? Is complaining really all that bad or is it something we’re supposed to do? In this article we’re going to discover God’s view on complaining and what he says to do. So let’s begin.
We must first start out by realizing the fact that the Bible is very clear on its stance about complaining and it’s views are simple, don’t complain. We see this in many verses like Philippians 2:14, “Do all things without grumbling or questioning,” also 1 Peter 4:9, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” When we see the words “grumbling” or “grumble” in Scripture, it refers to what we think of when we use the words “complaining” or “complain”. We are not to grumble or complain about certain situations or people in our lives.
So the next question to consider would be ‘why not?’ Why should we not complain? Well, it is important to note that Scripture also tells us not to let any corrupt or unwholesome talk come out of our mouths (Ephesians 4:29). We should only speak words that build others up and encourage. When we are complaining about something, we don’t like something, hence the reason for a complaint. When we don’t like something there is negative connotation attached to our complaint and usually we are complaining to someone else which can bring that person down as well. If we are complaining about someone or about what someone did, this is also not what God desires. If we are complaining about someone, we are not building them up and, therefore, we should not speak words that are not encouraging.
So if we know that we are not supposed to complain, what should we do instead? What is it we’re supposed to do if we want to complain? This answer is also simple yet not so easy to do. The answer is rejoice and give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Paul tells us to give thanks in all circumstances, whether good or bad. Now you may ask yourself, why should I give thanks in a situation I’m not happy with? Why should I rejoice in a situation that is not good? It is all about perspective. Although the situation you may be going through now is hard and causes pain, think about the eternity of peace and joy we are going to spend with God (revelation 21-22). When we have the perspective of “we’re only here for a while”, it makes situations that seem so terrible not that terrible after all. This is not to say that the situation isn’t bad or it doesn’t hurt. It just means we can have peace that we are going to make it and God is with us. This perspective can help us to keep from complaining. When we feel the need to complain, we should rejoice and be thankful for everything God has given us and if we are in Christ, we should thank Him for the eternal home waiting for us.
We should always be grateful and not complaining about whatever it may be. Complaining leads to hurtful words and causes arguments and fights and never leads to peace. When we keep ourselves from complaining, we should rejoice and have joy and peace enter our hearts. The world loves to complain. The media makes it seem acceptable to complain and get our points across. However, God tells us to be “transformed” by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) so we will not be conformed to this world and follow it. We must be different and one of the ways to be a light in a dark world is to rejoice when we want to complain.