We live in a world where we tend to complain about our circumstances. The culture of complaining is becoming so common even in the church. But as believers, we should be shining a light in the world by following God’s word and not the world’s culture.
As these 31 Bible verses about complaining will show us, complaining is rooted in our lack of trust in God’s plans, provision, and purpose for us. When we fully grasp that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good and everywhere we will refrain from complaining all the time.
Now complaining doesn’t mean we leave things that are not right as they are. We can still take action in line with God’s word. God wants us to pray, give him thanks, encourage and build others up, serve in the church, and community, and become the salt of the earth.
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What Does the Bible Say About Complaining
The Bible warns us heavily to refrain from complaining. It shows our dissatisfaction with God and what he is doing around us.
One of the biggest examples of people who complained in the Bible was the Israelites. After God had taken them out of slavery in Egypt, parted the Red Sea for them, gave them water from a rock, and fed them manna from the sky, they still complained about their situation.
Complaining displeases God and we see how the generation of complainers from Israel ended up wandering in the desert for 40 years and never made it into Cannan which was the promised land.
How Does Complaining Draw Us Away From God
The Bible warns us about the tongue and gives us guidance about what we should do to control it and use it in a way that glorifies God. Complaining, arguing, anger, and slander are some of the ways we use the tongue in a way that dishonors God.
As we desire to draw closer to God, we should be careful of what we say. At times, it's wiser to remain quiet than to complain and sin against God.
What we say easily becomes a reflection of what’s in our hearts. Speaking negatively about ourselves, the people around us, and events around us takes the focus away from God’s work. Complaining is a harmful habit that can destroy our faith in various ways.
Complaining keeps us from experiencing God’s promises.
- The Israelites didn’t reach and enjoy Canaan which was the promised land because they complained frequently about their situation to Aaron, Moses, God, and each other.
- When we complain all the time God can withhold the fulfillment of his amazing promises in our lives.
- Complaining stops us from experiencing God’s peace
- When we complain we become distressed thinking about everything that’s going wrong. It takes away the peace that Jesus Christ gives us.
- Complaining makes us ungrateful.
- We can’t draw closer to God if we are not thankful to him for what he has done and what he is doing in our lives. When we spend our time complaining we are discontent and ungrateful.
- God uses the good, bad, and ugly to fulfill his promises in our lives. That’s why he wants us to be thankful for everything we go through.
- We hinder others in their faith when we complain. We must always control our tongue so as to only encourage others and lift them up.
- If you’ve been around a person who complains and is never content, you know how draining that can be. God wants us to encourage others around us and not hinder them in their faith and relationship with him.
- Complaining keeps God from answering our prayers.
- Praying shows that we are trusting the Lord, waiting on him, and believing that he will do what we have asked him to do. But when we start complaining after praying, it can stop our heavenly father from answering our prayers.
As we can see, complaining often leaves us dissatisfied, drained, and discontent. It can destroy our faith as well.
Bible Verses About Complaining
It can be easy to join in when others start complaining about everything that’s wrong with the world today. So we need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us resist the pull to complain with them.
In these scriptures about complaining we see that complaining started in Genesis with the Fall of man when Adam complained that it was Eve who led him to sin and Eve complained and blamed the serpent.
Then in the New Testament, we see the Jews, disciples, and the church having various complaints and Jesus occasionally telling them not to grumble.
So complaining has been around since Biblical times and even today God wants us to glorify him with our tongues and not speak negatively.
With that said let’s explore 31 bible verses about complaining!
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. Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. Philippians 2:14-16 NLT
1 Peter 4:9
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9 ESV
It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife. Proverbs 21:19 NLT
Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan, Psalm 55:2 ESV
If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face, and be of good cheer,' Job 9:27 ESV
Those who err in mind will know the truth, And those who criticize and murmur discontentedly will accept instruction. Isaiah 29:24 AMP
Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! James 5:9 NLT
bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13 ESV
“So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves.” John 6:41-43 ESV
When the people saw it, they all began muttering [in discontent], “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a [notorious] sinner.” Luke 19:7 AMP
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists[a] arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. Acts 6:1 ESV
Numbers 11:1-2 ESV
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. Numbers 11:1-2 ESV
And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:2-3 ESV
And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Numbers 21:5 ESV
Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the Lord. Psalm 106:25 NLT
your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, Numbers 14:29 ESV
1 Corinthians 10: 10-11
And do not murmur [in unwarranted discontent], as some of them did—and were destroyed by the [e]destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example and warning [to us]; they were written for our instruction [to admonish and equip us], upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10: 10-11 AMP
For even though [a]they knew God [as the Creator], they did not [b]honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21 AMP
These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. Jude 1:16 NLT
Proverbs 23:29 ESV
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Proverbs 23:29 ESV
Then why should we, mere humans, complain when we are punished for our sins? Lamentations 3:39 NLT
And the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me—she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12 AMP
“How long must I put up with this wicked community and its complaints about me? Yes, I have heard the complaints the Israelites are making against me. Numbers 14:27 NLT
Isaiah 59:1-2 ESV
Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2 ESV
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 NLT
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 NLT
Philippians 4:11-12 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. Philippians 4:11-12 ESV
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT
When there are many words, transgression and offense are unavoidable, But he who controls his lips and keeps thoughtful silence is wise. Proverbs 10:19 AMP
1 Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
These scriptures about complaining show us the dangers of this habit. The Israelites themselves are given as an example of how God will deal with complainers. The same way God rescued them from slavery is the same way Jesus Christ saved us from darkness into his light.
After gaining salvation, God expects us to follow and obey his word. We are his ambassadors and we should influence those around us positively. We live in a fallen world that is not perfect but we do serve a perfect God and we can trust that he is for us always.
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The will of God for us is that we become grateful in all situations because we know and believe that God is working everything out for our good. Surrounding ourselves with people who have an attitude of gratitude and praise on their lips will help us resist negativity.
God wants us to learn to be content and trust him for our provision. It’s when we fix our minds and eyes on the positive that we see God in everything and stay away from complaining.