On Complaining…

Stop Complaining Graffiti - Notice that the above itself is a complaint.
Notice that the above itself is a complaint.

Philippians 2:14 tells us

“Do everything without complaining and arguing…”

~ This would seem to be right. In the Old Testament if you read about the Israelites journey in the desert, you find that they repeatedly complain about one thing or another.  Numbers 11:4-6 records a classic instance:

“Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.  But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.” 

This is just one instance of many and this complaining is not viewed in a positive light.

On the flip side we see David complaining a lot in the Psalms. Take for example, Psalm 142:2

“I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.”

This is just one instance of many complaints that David makes and these complaints are viewed in a positive light. So the question arises: Is complaining good or bad?

~I can think of two reasons why some complaining is bad and other not so bad..

One reason why has to do with what is involved in it. It seems to me that the Israelites in the desert were not simply complaining. They were blaming God.  David on the other hand was not blaming God.  He was raising an issue before God.

Another reason why complaining is bad is if it is purposeless in nature. That is if the complaining is pointless.  When David complained he believed that God would answer him. He believed that something would come of it.  He was not just pointlessly mouthing off words. Its all too easy to frivolously complain about things. Complaining for the sake of complaining.