Complaint Department

I like to complain…in fact I can’t wait to be an old man so that it seems more normal that I complain so much. It seems odd for a man my age to complain as much as I do, especially about my aching knees, but that’s how I roll. I like to complain about things so much that I may complain about a complaint. You could say I’ve mastered the art of complaining, I know all the different ways to complain. The in-your-face-complaint, the agrumentitive-complaint, the back-handed-complaint, even the difficult to pull off complaint-about-a-back-handed-complant while-administering-a-back-handed-complaint. (It takes lots of mental fortitude to pull that one off.) I’m a complainer…deep inside me there’s a lonely dude shouting “I need a hug” but I can usually shut him up with a package of cookies…so now he’s lonely and fat. Christmas is just around the corner and I have a whole list of complaints about that…but I’ll save it for another time. There is a problem with complaining too much, and it’s not that it’s obnoxious…which it is…but that’s not the biggest problem with it, the biggest problem is what the Bible has to say about complaining. It’s just one verse (though there are others) but it offends me more than I can say:

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

This verse troubles me to no end…so much so I wish it weren’t there. I am not even sure if I want to do all things without grumbling or questioning. I like complaining. It makes me feel better to complain…but it doesn’t make the situation any better, in fact sometimes it makes it worse. This verse doesn’t say don’t complain about SOME things, it says, don’t complain about ALL things. Complaining is almost second nature to some of us, myself included. But we have to remember that when you complain you are rejecting God’s providence for your life. You are essentially telling God you know more than he does. That He was a liar when He said: “for those who love God all things work together for good.” Complaining is the worldly reaction to unpleasant, unwanted news. But if you don’t complain…you have just stood out. Maybe a co-worker or acquaintance will notice and ask you about it, and then you’ll get to talk to them about Jesus. Not complaining when you hear unpleasant, unwanted news, but trusting that God will work this out for good can be a louder witness and do more good than complaining ever could.


3 thoughts on “Complaint Department

  1. Working with men at a long-term residential “Christian Life Program” at a Rescue Mission I hear men complain every day. I just now finished a “Work Therapy Orientation” with three new men. One of the points I cover is about this very topic: “Complaining/Ingratitude”. We also cite the Philippians verse. You are quit correct when you say that complaining is an affront against God and the way things are in His Universe. I tell them also that complaining, or even worse ingratitude is a habit that we need to be intentional about breaking. (I remember from seminary that this apart of the old man that we are to cast off) This will be challenging for some of these men who have lived by the law of the streets. We want them to stop living by the law of the streets and start living the abundant life that is found only in Jesus Christ!

    I love John piper’s quote: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”

  2. Hey John: That’s my department, since I am the old man around here, at 62! 😉 Yeah my biggest complaint is perhaps the generational one, I mean heck things have so changed in my life-time! But then of course my years with the Royal Marines does’t help either!

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