Is Complaining A Sin

When we complain to other men about God or anything that He is doing in our lives, the answer is yes. When we complain to God Himself about bad things men are doing to us, the answer is no.

Numbers 14:27: How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.

Two definitions of the Old Testament Hebrew word murmur are these: to be obstinate (especially in words, to complain) and to grudge.

Lamentations 3:39: Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?

John 6:43: Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.

1 Corinthians 10:10: Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

The Greek word murmur in these two New Testament passages means to grumble.

Numbers 14:29: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,

1 Thessalonians 5:18: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

We can be sure that those who complain are unthankful and vice versa. Both complaining about God and ingratitude to Him are sins. When we complain, we either knowingly complain about God or ignorantly complain about Him. His sovereignty means that He is in charge of EVERYTHING. He loves us and knows what is best for us. Everything He puts in our lives is either to draw us to Himself in salvation in the first place or to restore wayward saved individuals to Himself.

There are two ways in which we might complain. We might complain to men knowingly or ignorantly about what God is doing or we might complain TO GOD. Complaining to God is the proper way. He is the Only One who can do anything about our problem anyway. This is not say that we should not ask others to pray to God on our behalf about our problems.

Job 21:4: As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?

Psalms 142:1: (Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.) I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. 2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. 3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. 4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. 5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. 6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. 7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

We can very accurately summarize it this way: when we are ungrateful and complaining we are walking in the flesh and when we are grateful and content we are walking in the Spirit.

Nehemiah 8:10: Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

When we are complaining we are not strong believers.

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