Complaining is a sin

This post is riding off the back of Allamagoosa’s post as well as some of the discussions on Free Northerner’s and Donalgraeme’s.

I’ve stated before that I think man up is one of the useful tenents in the manosphere in terms of motivating men to do what they are supposed to do. But it’s not useful in regard to women.

The point that gets glossed over is that complaining is indeed a sin. For example, here’s only a few verses from the Scriptures that talk about complaining:

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

James 5:9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.

1 Peter 4:9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Numbers 11:1-4 And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the Lord burned among them. Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat!

1 Corinthians 10:10 Nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.

Exodus 16:8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Psalm 106:25 They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord.

In cases where men complain, it is up to men to tell other men to man up and not complain. When women do it they are going to be seen as “nagging” and “bitchy” no matter what their intentions. Even so, women are to address this topic with their Christian brothers via Matthew 18, so choose your words carefully.

Likewise, sensitive issues need to be discussed in the manosphere in terms of the difficulty that Christian men and women who are looking to be married face. This is where I suggest that many posts should be prefaced with statements so as not to be seen as complaining. For example, “This has been my observation that…” or “This has been my experience of difficulties…” so as to state that you’re not complaining about it but rather bringing up a topic that needs to be discussed.

This is why I tend to stay away from the “woe is me” or “hardships of Christian men/women” topics now because it’s very easy for them to devolve into complaining fests.

One of the areas of which I am convicted is in terms of my fact that I verbalize my displeasure with certain situations in life. I do this because it’s oddly stress relieving, and I do this with myself without other people around as well. However, I realize that what I say can be taken as complaining and that it is in fact discouraging to others that hear it.

The stress relieving part is good, but the fact that if it affects other negatively as per the Ephesians verse should make me watch my words: Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. I need to consider not just myself but others as well in how I speak and act. Thus, finding another potential outlet for stress relief would be good, because to be seen as a complainer (even if you’re not trying to be) will toe the line of sin. We are not to even give the appearance of evil as believers.

Not to mention the fact that complainers are seen as whiners, crybabies and unattractive.

Ironically, as I was publishing this post, wordpress screwed up and deleted the whole thing. I was initially angry and frustrated and started to complaining to myself that I had to type the whole thing up again. But then I realized what I was writing about and was convicted again. In typing this up again it was my experience that the point further solidified in my mind after a period of frustration and overcoming that frustration so it was beneficial after all.

Don’t complain or even give the appearance of complaining because it’s a sin. Instead, be at peace, joyful, and with thanksgiving in all circumstances. It is in those hard difficult times where you do the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do that your witness is strong.

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13 Responses to Complaining is a sin

  1. ballista74 says:

    I would normally say GMTA, but that GM is the Lord, I think. Been working on a post about this (more about blaming, so-and-so wouldn’t, etc, but complaining nonetheless) before my current convictions set in about division, especially since I was going to quote examples of women and men both complaining. I’ll probably just make it a Scripture thing.

  2. femininebutnotfeminist says:

    You make a good point. This is something I am bad to do if I’m not watching myself carefully. I need to work on that.

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  4. Padre98 says:

    Hmm and the difference between murmuring as the Hebaru’s did in the desert, or the early Church that led to the creation of Deacons (Acts 6), and confrontation say as happened with Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15) would be?

    Or perhaps Matthew 21:28-31, one son refused, then repented, the other appeared to accept, then never showed up..which one grumbled or complained?

    Point being, there is a good reason why James mentioned the tongue being a fire, who can tame it? People say many things, what matters is what they do at the end of it all.

  5. @ Padre

    Yep, it’s always better to do the right thing in the end.

    I’ve joked with people before that I’m the son who said he wouldn’t do it but ended up doing it. Though, as Jesus said, it’s better to let your yes be yes and no be no in those cases.

  6. Chad says:

    You’re slightly off

    In all your examples, God and the apostles are saying not to grumble or complain in two kinds of situations.

    The first is not to complain in acts of Charity. Love is a sacrifice, and loving one’s neighbor means sacrificing in love. Complaining shows that your do not do it out of love, but out of obligation. It also robs both yourself and your neighbor of the Charity, by making yourself feel put upon and the neighbor feel guilty about accepting (and possibly needing) such Charity. Thus what could have become an act that grew the fruits of the spirit and the virtues in each (Charity and patience in the giver and humility, faith, and hope in the receiver) becomes almost poisonous and toxic towards the pursuit of such actions later in life. It’s horrible and absolutely is a sin, but complaining/grumbling as a sin is described as such in very specific circumstances towards others.

    The second is not to complain to God when you’re being blessed by God. The tribes of Israel complained that life wasn’t easy enough when God was providing everything they needed and leading them personally. They woke up, collected food and water from heaven, and traveled. When they complained of HOLY FOOD, God gave them meat. God ran their enemies before them and they complained of how hard it was to walk to the Holy Land.

    Its clear in these examples that the lesson is to not complain about not being blessed ‘enough’ by God when you’re clearly being blessed.

    Now, there is a very valid argument that we should strive to thank God for our trials and tribulations as well. For by overcoming we grow stronger while also growing closer to God by relying on his strength over our own in persevering and conquering such trials.

    I agree with this argument, and think that it’s very clear. It is the lesson of Job; one of the longer books, as well as brief lessons from Apostles and Christ. But it is also something in which someone seeking to understand -WHY- they’re undergoing trials is allowed to question that. Such ‘complaints’ should always be aimed towards searching for the wisdom. Rather than denouncing God it is admitting to him that you are too weak without his help, and searching for how he would have you act. Sometimes this means seeking charity and help from others.

    Never going to others for assistance in tough situations is generally Prideful of our physical, mental, and spiritual strength.

    I think the clear difference lies within merely words – being a whiner – versus actions after you complain, seek assistance, and then act.

  7. @ Chad

    Yeah, definitely some subtle differences.

    I think Paul makes it clear in 2 Corinthians 10 where he defends his ministry and 2 Corinthians 12 when he talks about his thorn. If he doesn’t qualify his actions with justifications it would be easy to see him as a whiner or complainer, but the hardships are seen as a teaching method in that case.

    Likewise, I don’t seem to recall any instance of Jesus ever whining or complaining aside from praying in the garden that the cup would be taken from him.

    I think we were meant to go to others for help as it is the body of Christ. We’re not meant to walk the road alone with only God by our side but other believers.

  8. ballista74 says:

    Yeah, the complaining is perhaps tempered by motive. If we can’t do anything about it, it becomes one thing that God might listen to and be gracious about (see the Israelites slavery under the Egyptians):

    And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. (Exodus 2:24-25)

    If it’s something that we don’t like about God, then it becomes questioning Him. “What you gave me isn’t good enough.” “You don’t know what You’re doing.” Stuff like that meets a much different standard. Most of what the Israelites did out in the desert was because their minds and hearts were still in those chains back in Egypt. They were hating and spiting what the Lord did for them. They were literally hating on the Lord for giving them salvation (if you want to apply the type to it).

  9. @ ballista

    I tend to see the “groaning in Egypt” as more of a crying out to God for help which God honors (if we repent and turn to him).

    Not so much in terms of complaining or whining.

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  13. Wizard Prang says:

    “Ironically, as I was publishing this post, wordpress screwed up and deleted the whole thing.”

    Trust in the Notepad with all your heart, and lean not unto your own web browser.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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