30 Bible Verses About Complaining (Explained)

Complaining is a common temptation that can poison our hearts and relationships, yet the Bible offers warnings and exhortations against this destructive habit. Join us as we explore verses that address the issue of complaining, offering wisdom and guidance for cultivating gratitude, contentment, and trust in God’s provision and sovereignty, even in the midst of trials and challenges.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Reading The Bible

Bible Verses About Complaining

Philippians 2:14

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and avoiding complaining or arguing. When we complain, we focus on the negative aspects of a situation instead of finding gratitude and contentment in all circumstances.

Complaining can even hinder our relationship with God and others, as it breeds discontentment and can spread negativity. Instead, we are called to trust in God’s sovereignty and offer thanksgiving in every situation, knowing that He is working all things for our good.

Psalm 34:1

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

This verse encourages us to have an attitude of continuous praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. Rather than complaining about our circumstances, we should choose to bless the Lord and speak words of praise, regardless of our situation.

When we focus on praising God, we shift our perspective from our problems to His greatness and faithfulness. It reminds us of His goodness and helps us to cultivate a heart of gratitude, reducing the temptation to complain.

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.”

This verse cautions against complaining or speaking ill of one another. When we complain about others, we not only create division and discord, but we also risk facing judgment ourselves.

God, who is just and holy, sees and hears everything. He calls us to love one another and to treat each other with kindness and respect. Complaining against others goes against this command, and it can hinder our unity and witness as Christians.

Numbers 14:27

“How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me.”

In this verse, God expresses His displeasure with the Israelites’ constant complaining. Despite His faithfulness and provision, they continued to grumble and complain.

This serves as a reminder of the importance of trusting in God’s sovereignty and plans, even when we don’t understand or agree with His ways. Complaining displays a lack of faith and gratitude, and it can hinder our spiritual growth and walk with the Lord.

1 Peter 4:9

“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

This verse reminds us to show hospitality and kindness to others without complaining. Hospitality involves welcoming and serving others with a joyful and selfless attitude.

Grumbling or complaining in our acts of service can undermine the sincerity and impact of our actions. By offering hospitality without grumbling, we demonstrate the love and grace of Christ to those around us.

Lamentations 3:39

“Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins?”

This verse reminds us of the gravity and consequence of our sins. In light of our own shortcomings and failures, we have no grounds to complain about our circumstances.

Instead of complaining, we should humbly acknowledge our sins and seek forgiveness and restoration from God. Recognizing our own need for His mercy and grace can help us develop a grateful and humble heart that refrains from complaining.

James 1:17

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

This verse reminds us that every good thing comes from God. In contrast to complaining, we are called to recognize and appreciate the abundant blessings that God has bestowed upon us.

By acknowledging God as the source of all our blessings, we cultivate a heart of gratitude and contentment. We realize that even in difficult circumstances, God is faithful and provides for our needs.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Here, we are specifically instructed to give thanks in all circumstances. This includes situations where we might be tempted to complain or become discontent.

Developing a habit of thanksgiving requires intentional effort and a shift in mindset. It means choosing to focus on God’s faithfulness and goodness, even during challenging times. By practicing gratitude, we guard our hearts against complaining and align ourselves with God’s will.

Exodus 16:7

“…and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?”

In this verse, the Israelites’ complaints against Moses and Aaron are seen as grumbling against the Lord Himself. God takes their complaining seriously and responds accordingly.

Similarly, our complaints and grumblings are not simply directed towards others but ultimately towards God. Recognizing this should humble us and make us think twice before engaging in complaining, as it reflects a lack of trust in God’s provision and sovereignty.

Psalm 55:17

“Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.”

This verse highlights the importance of bringing our complaints and burdens before God. Instead of complaining to others or allowing negativity to fester within us, we are encouraged to pour out our hearts to the Lord.

God is not distant or indifferent to our pain and struggles. He invites us to come to Him with our complaints and burdens, knowing that He hears and understands us. Through prayer, we find comfort, guidance, and peace in His presence.

Romans 14:12-13

“So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”

In this verse, we are reminded that we will all give an account of our actions to God. This should serve as a motivation to avoid complaining and passing judgment on others.

Complaining and criticizing others can hinder their spiritual growth and act as stumbling blocks in their faith. As Christians, we should strive to build one another up, encourage one another, and avoid creating any unnecessary hindrances through our words or actions.

Isaiah 29:24

“And those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will accept instruction.”

This verse reminds us that those who murmur or complain are unlikely to accept instruction or correction. A complaining spirit often results in resistance to wise counsel or guidance.

In order to grow and mature in our faith, it is important to be open to correction and willing to learn from others. By cultivating a spirit of humility, we can avoid the trap of complaining and embrace the opportunities for growth and transformation that come through instruction.

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.”

Complaining often involves negative and corrupting talk that tears others down. As followers of Christ, we are called to use our words to build up and encourage one another.

This verse encourages us to speak words of grace that edify and bring life to those who hear them. By guarding our tongues and being mindful of our words, we can avoid the trap of complaining and instead bring glory to God through our speech.

Psalm 106:25

“They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord.”

This verse serves as a warning about the dangers of complaining and its relationship with disobedience. The Israelites’ murmuring in the wilderness led to disobedience and rebellion against God.

Complaining can often foster a spirit of rebellion within us, causing us to disregard God’s commands and purposes. It is important to be aware of the connection between complaining and disobedience and to strive for a heart that is willing to trust and obey God in all things.

Psalm 142:2

“I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.”

This verse echoes the sentiment of Psalm 55:17, reminding us of the importance of pouring out our complaints and troubles before the Lord.

God invites us to bring our burdens to Him, knowing that He cares for us deeply. Rather than allowing our complaints to fester or seeking solace in grumbling, we can find comfort and relief by expressing our concerns honestly and openly to God in prayer.

Nehemiah 9:34-35

“Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. Even in their own kingdom, and amid your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you or turn from their wicked works.”

This verse recounts God’s faithfulness towards the Israelites, despite their continual disobedience and complaining. It serves as a reminder that even in the face of our own failures, God remains faithful.

God’s goodness and grace are not contingent on our performance or lack of complaining. However, recognizing His steadfastness should motivate us to turn from complaining and commit ourselves to living in obedience and gratitude.

Psalm 19:14

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

This verse is a beautiful prayer, asking God to help us control our words and thoughts so that they may be pleasing to Him.

By intentionally cultivating a heart that reflects Christ’s love and righteousness, we can guard against the temptation to complain and instead honor God in all our words and thoughts. This prayer serves as a reminder of our constant need for God’s guidance and transforming power in every aspect of our lives.

1 Corinthians 10:10

“nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.”

This verse refers to the grumbling of the Israelites during their time in the wilderness. Their complaints and lack of faith resulted in severe consequences, including destruction and death.

By sharing this example, Paul warns the Corinthians, and us, of the dangers of complaining. It serves as a reminder that our attitudes and words have consequences, and we should strive to avoid the path of complaining and instead trust in God’s provision and plan.

Proverbs 16:32

“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of self-control, including controlling our inclination to complain or become angry.

Complaining often stems from a lack of self-control. By cultivating virtues such as patience, humility, and contentment, we can better manage our emotions and responses. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can develop the ability to rule over our own spirit and avoid the destructive habit of complaining.

Psalm 119:165

“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”

Those who love God’s law and truth can experience a deep and lasting peace, even in the midst of challenging circumstances. This peace guards our hearts and minds, making us less susceptible to complaining or stumbling.

By anchoring ourselves in God’s Word and resting in His promises, we can find peace that transcends our circumstances. It is a peace that helps us navigate life’s challenges with faith, trust, and gratitude, reducing the temptation to complain.

Psalm 142:1

“With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.”

Similar to Psalm 142:2, this verse encourages us to cry out to the Lord in times of distress or complaint.

When we find ourselves tempted to complain, it is important to redirect our emotions and thoughts towards the Lord. He is our source of comfort, mercy, and strength. By voicing our concerns and seeking His help, we invite Him to work in our lives and offer us the peace and solutions we need.

Proverbs 19:3

“When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.”

This verse highlights the tendency of the human heart to react with anger and complaint when faced with the consequences of our own foolish choices.

When we complain, we often shift blame onto others or even onto God, instead of accepting responsibility for our actions. This verse serves as a warning against this kind of self-righteousness and urges us to recognize and address our own shortcomings rather than blaming God or others.

Psalm 37:8

“Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.”

This verse encourages us to refrain from anger and fretfulness, as they often lead to complaining and negative speech.

When we allow ourselves to be consumed by anger or worry, we open the door for complaining and unwholesome talk. Instead, we are called to trust in the Lord’s sovereignty and providence, knowing that He is in control. By surrendering our anxieties to Him, we can find peace and avoid the trap of complaining.

Proverbs 10:19

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”

This verse reminds us of the importance of guarding our words and speaking with discretion.

Complaining often involves a multitude of words, expressing dissatisfaction and discontentment. However, the prudent person exercises self-control and refrains from excessive complaining or speaking negatively. By learning to speak wisely and thoughtfully, we can avoid transgressions and cultivate a positive and uplifting atmosphere in our relationships and interactions.

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This well-known passage is a powerful reminder of the antidote to complaining: prayer and thanksgiving.

When we are tempted to complain, we are invited to turn to God in prayer, taking our worries and concerns to Him. Through prayer and supplication, we express our dependence on Him and seek His guidance and provision.

Furthermore, this passage encourages us to accompany our requests with thanksgiving. By focusing on the good things that God has done and continues to do, we foster a heart of gratitude and trust, which leads to the peace of God guarding our hearts and minds.

James 5:10-11

“As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

This verse encourages us to consider the examples of the prophets and Job, who endured great suffering and yet remained steadfast and faithful.

When faced with trials and difficulties, it is natural to feel the inclination to complain. However, through the stories of these biblical figures, we are reminded of God’s compassion and mercy, even in the midst of our pain. By keeping their examples in mind, we can draw strength and encouragement to endure without complaining.

Colossians 3:17

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

This verse calls us to live our lives in a way that brings glory to God, giving thanks in everything we say and do.

Complaining is contrary to the spirit of this verse, as it reflects a lack of gratitude and fails to honor the Lord. By cultivating a heart of gratitude and consciously seeking to give thanks in all circumstances, we can align our lives with the purpose of glorifying God and avoiding the trap of complaining.

1 Peter 5:7

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

This verse reminds us of God’s care and concern for us. We are encouraged to cast all our worries and burdens on Him, rather than allowing them to fuel complaints or anxiety.

God is not distant or indifferent to our struggles. He invites us to bring our cares to Him, knowing that He will sustain and provide for us. By surrendering our anxieties to Him, we find the peace and comfort we need and avoid the destructive habit of complaining.

The Bible’s View on Complaining

When it comes to the subject of complaining, the Bible provides us with valuable insights and guidance that can help us navigate this common human tendency. Throughout its pages, we can find wisdom and encouragement to address the issue of complaining in our lives.

1. Warning Against Grumbling

The Bible often highlights the danger of giving in to a complaining spirit. In the Old Testament, we learn about the Israelites, who continually grumbled during their journey in the wilderness, even after witnessing miraculous acts of God’s provision and faithfulness (Exodus 16:2, Numbers 14:2). These stories serve as warnings to us, reminding us that complaining can hinder our faith and trust in God’s plans for us.

2. Seeking Contentment

The Bible also encourages us to seek contentment and gratitude. The apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11, NIV). This verse reminds us to find joy and satisfaction in every situation, rather than grumbling or complaining about our circumstances. As believers, we are called to cultivate a heart of gratitude and trust that God knows what is best for us.

3. Choosing Gratitude

Another biblical principle that guides us in our attitude toward complaining is to cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul encourages them: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15, NIV). We are encouraged to let gratitude permeate our hearts, recognizing that any situation we find ourselves in can be an opportunity for growth and reliance on God.

4. Bringing Our Concerns to God

However, the Bible also recognizes that there are legitimate times when we need to express our concerns and frustrations. The book of Psalms, in particular, is filled with examples of individuals pouring out their complaints to God. Yet, what sets this apart from mere grumbling is that it is done in a spirit of honesty and vulnerability before God. Instead of complaining aimlessly, we can bring our concerns to Him, seeking His guidance and comfort, just as the psalmists did (e.g., Psalm 142:1-2).

5. Encouragement to Encourage

Lastly, the Bible encourages us to uplift and encourage one another. The apostle Paul encourages the church in Thessalonica to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV). Instead of joining in complaints or negative conversations, we can choose to be a source of encouragement and support for one another, helping to redirect our focus toward gratitude and trust in God.

In conclusion, the Bible provides us with wisdom and guidance regarding complaining. It warns against grumbling, encourages us to seek contentment, and highlights the importance of cultivating a spirit of thanksgiving. Furthermore, it reminds us to bring our concerns to God and encourages us to uplift and encourage one another. By aligning our hearts and attitudes with the principles found in the Scriptures, we can overcome the temptation to complain and instead live lives of gratitude and trust in God’s perfect plan for us.

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Pastor David

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