A Good Complaint? (Updated)

Is there such a thing as a good complaint? Actually understanding the difference between a good complaint and a bad complaint can have a powerful impact on your life.

The Bad Complaint

Here is a good example of a bad complaint:

Numbers 11:1 Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

Notice that this kind of complaining ticked God off. I am not sure about you, but that is not my idea of a good plan. You can also notice here that the complaining was among each other and God was just listening in to the conversation.

It seems from scripture that bad complaining is internal: person to person. Paul encourages people to avoid this. Philippians 2:14-“Do everything without grumbling or arguing”.

A Good Complaint

But there is another kind of complaining mentioned in the Bible that shows us a way out.

Psalms 142 verse 1-2 shows us the complaint of David:

I cry aloud to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble.

The key difference is where he brought his complaint. He brought it into the presence of God. And when he processed his emotions into his prayer time and his perspective was encouraged by the end of the chapter.

The encouragement of scripture is to not be going around complaining to others. We are encouraged to, “pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.” (Psalms 62:8)

So today rather than wandering to the water cooler to have a grumble fest, why don’t you take it into your time with God?

For more on Emotion and Prayer go here.

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Posted in Prayer.