Theology of Complaining – Philippians 2:14

Posted on Jan 24

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” — Philippians 2:14

Who among us hasn’t been guilty of that? Of complaining?

But while we as believers certainly have joined the chorus of complaining from time to time, we really don’t need to be singing that tune! Christians instead ought to be thinking differently than nonbelievers and focusing on solutions to our problems rather than on the problems themselves.

Indeed, there are biblical reasons to avoid complaining.

We need to recognize that God is working positively in our lives, no matter what our circumstances might be. God always has a bigger plan in mind and is using events in our lives to teach us — about patience, about forgiveness. The bottom line is that we live in a broken, fallen world, and not everything is going to go perfectly. Therefore, we must continually tell ourselves the truths that God is in control, God is good, and God is loving.

It’s important to point out a very interesting tidbit in one of the many Old Testament accounts of the Israelites complaining about their circumstances in the wilderness They complained about the same three things that children always complain about: the food, the living conditions, and the leadership. Truth!

One question we need to ask ourselves: What is the opposite of complaining? The answer is trust. When our complaining increases, how much are we trusting in God’s authority? Probably not much. Therefore, when we notice our complaining is increasing, we need to do a spiritual check and realize that our level of trust in the Lord isn’t as high as it should be.

Therefore, let us continually keep in mind these important principles as we move forward:

• Complaining can be a spiritual indicator of a “heart” problem. So let’s be ready to do a heart check!

• Complaining TO God (but not AT God) is a good thing. No, the Lord won’t necessarily take away every problem we want to get rid of — consider Paul and his thorn in the flesh the Lord wouldn’t remove — but instead works in us through all kinds of circumstances, even negative ones.

• The opposite of complaining is trust.

• And complaining and negative thinking is not befitting of Christians.
Indeed, it’s often difficult for us to know why God does and allows certain things to happen in our lives. More often that not, we have no idea what God is doing. Therefore, let us ask him to help us trust in him more and more each day.

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