The Sin of Complaining

The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.


Do all things without grumbling or disputing” (Phil 2:14).

Philippians 2 is usually referenced as a central passage in the N.T. about humility.

  • We have our calling to be humble (vs. 1-4).
  • We have the example of Jesus’ humility (vs. 5-11).
  • We have the humility of Paul’s spiritual son (vs. 19-24).
  • We have Epaphroditus who worked himself to death as a result of his humility (vs. 25-30).

And then, right in the middle of this chapter (almost literally) is this 14th verse that calls for us to not complain. One of the measuring sticks of our humility is whether we grumble or complain. Humble people are content; they don’t gripe and whine about the circumstances God brings in one’s life.

Complaining is a word that means “to murmur in a low voice.” Complaining is failing to accept God’s plans and provisions. Complaining means we have unmet expectations. Complaining is believing in our own rights about God’s plans. Complaining is believing we deserve certain things that God hasn’t approved of. It’s our way of suggesting to God He messed up and needs to do it differently.

Psalm 84:11 says,

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Christians who have a sovereign God don’t have any reason to complain. John Piper writes in his book The Passion of Jesus Christ, “Grumbling only adds to the darkness because it obscures the light of God’s gracious, all-controlling providence” (pg. 204).

If God works all things together for good (Rom 8:28), how could any of us complain?


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