Philippians 2:14-30: Complaining

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Read:Philippians 2:14-30

Key Verse:  Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life… –Phil 2:14-16a

Dig Deeper:  Constant grumbling and complaining is not a pretty trait.  All of us can look at the pouting girl in the photo (or our children who look the same way sometimes!), and admit that it’s an ugly character trait.  Yet so many of us walk around the same way, and don’t see it.  Complaining is based on a prideful and selfish feeling that we somehow “deserve” better in our lives, yet so often when we reach that “better” point, we find something else to complain about. 

I tend to suffer from the ailment of grumbling.  Of negativity.  I want so desperately to be in control that when things don’t go my way, I complain about it.  Paul says we shouldn’t do that.  Paul tells us to do all things without complaining and disputing. The NIV uses the term “grumbling.” Paul goes on to give reasons that we shouldn’t grumble and complain.  We should do all things without grumbling and complaining so that we will be “blameless and harmless” (the NIV says blameless and pure).  Constant complaining and disputing is a sin, and I want to strive toward purity in my life.

Furthermore, Paul inspires us.  Look around you, and what do you see in this world?  Scores of discontent, complaining, people.  People who are unfulfilled and unhappy.  And so often, we Christians, who have every reason to celebrate, look just like those unhappy, discontent and unfulfilled people.  God’s word calls us to look different.  Paul says we should do all things without complaining and be pure and blameless “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights.”

So many people walk around discontent.  Complaining and grumbling about everything in life that doesn’t go their way. 

God calls us to shine as a light in the midst of such negativity.  I’ve known only a few such positive influences.  People who reflect the joy of the Lord in the midst of trials.  Women who radiate God’s love and grace.  Women who exude a positive outlook in all they do and are quick to serve others without complaining.  They are a light in the midst of darkness. 

Lord, I pray that you would soften my heart.  Forgive me the selfishness and pride that leads me to complain and grumble about things.  Help me to shine as a light in a world of darkness by living out the joy and blessings you have given me.


  1. says

    Thank you for this word of encouragement! I have a tendency to complain often myself. My husband is good to quietly remind me too, when I need to just suck it up (he says it in a much kinder way than that). It is easy to be caught up in what we think should be happening. I was just reading this morning in Luke 14 where Christ talks about being humble: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” This really struck me hard, as humbleness is not a trait that we can muster in ourselves, but a God given grace because we are such selfish sinful people by nature. It truly humbles you and makes you realize how much we must rely on God for everything in this life.

  2. Miranda says

    we has a guest speaker come to our church a few weeks ago who spoke on this exact topic, complaining. He said in his home, with his children, when they complain, he has them run to a wall, run back and tell him something they are thankful for. I have started this in my own house, and even let my children keep me accountable when I complain (they’re really good at it!!). It’s amazing what a difference it has made in complaining, and instead of thinking about negative things, they are forced to think about something positive, and their mood changes to reflect it!!

  3. Kitty says

    I needed to hear this today. Thank you for tour encouraging words. Reminds me I have so much to be grateful for.

    • Crystal says

      Yep…it’s a sad truth when your kids pick up your little bad habits…I keep telling myself that my kids are still young (2 and 4) and it’s not too late to start changing their normal.

  4. says

    You are soooo in my business right now. LOL!
    This is an area that I need to work on. I don’t mean to. It just happens. So not cute.

    Pray for me.

  5. Mindy Vondersaar Bowman says

    Just did a 31 day Challenge on complaining. I never realized how much I did until I put a spotlight on it! :) Thanks for re-reminding me! LOL

  6. says

    Complaining can be such a viscious circle too. We complain about our kid complaining, we complain about complaints we hear from others, etc… It’s hard to get out of the habit without prayer.

  7. says

    What a great reminder. It brings me back to when I did a month of thankfulness as my FB status updates for November. It made my whole outlook different.

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