To Do-ers List: Without Complaining
14 “Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.”
It has taken me a while to figure out complaining is not a spiritual gift.
In Christian circles complaining is an acceptable sin. It is not as messy as other more shocking sins. Why is it so acceptable? Because everyone does it. Not everyone has a debt problem. Not everyone has an issue with addictive behaviors. Most of us don’t have an armed robbery conviction (all of which are forgiven and covered by Jesus), but EVERYONE complains.
On a daily basis.
Ok, it’s a way of life.
We rationalize: Complaining isn’t really that bad. Everyone does it. Millions of people can’t be wrong. Note: Complaining is not without consequence. It will produce a harvest, not of nutritious fruit, but of weeds and tares. Complaining is sin because it casts doubt on the goodness, wisdom, and sovereignty of God. We complain because in our pride we think we know more than God.
Complaining needs an audience.
The Greek word for complaining is goggysmos.
The word just looks like trouble, doesn’t it? I can imagine the following conversation:
How is your husband today?
Oh, he’s been very goggymos, I had to get out of the house!
Goggysmos means, murmuring, muttering, a secret debate, of the cooing of doves, of those who confer secretly together, of those who discontentedly complain. Study the definitions of goggysmos. Do you notice anything interesting? Complaining is a team sport.
One little complaint has the potential to loose an avalanche of grievances. To be completely honest … I must confess … sometimes I enjoy complaining. I like having a good grumbly story to tell my friends and then wallowing in the sympathy that is sure to follow.
Complaining affects our destiny.
Read Psalm 106 again. What did the Israelites do instead of entering the land God prepared for them? They complained.
They missed the Promised Land.
Instead of living the abundant life in God’s presence, they had to wander the desert. (Our God inhabits praise, not complaints Psalm 22:3). Complaining will keep us out of our Promised Land and hinder our walk with God. We will wander through life and miss God. We can believe or complain, but we can’t do both.
Once we decide to quit complaining and trust God, what do we do instead?
Praise Him for how He is going to work your tough situation for His will. Thank Him for how He is using this present pain and suffering to shape you into the image of Christ. Pray for Him to change to the one thing you can control in this trial, your attitude. God’s Word says to give thanks in everything, not because everything is good, but because God will use everything for good.
God will give beauty for ashes.
You may have reason to complain, but you do not have the right.
Ok. This one is going to be hard. We can do this. No complaints. Not one. No bad words about anything or anybody-including ourselves! We have a choice: We can speak words of life or words of death into our situations. What will we choose? Thank God out loud for what He will do and how He is using annoying things to shape our character, thus our destiny. Remember, the book of James states our words act like the rudder on a ship, steering us to good lands or stormy seas.
To help you organize your daily study and record your experiences, please download and print the following PDF, or download the journal app to your favorite Apple device. I’ve added a new graphic organizer today, Journal 101 (This one is my favorite. I use it often for Bible study and I LOVE it.)
- Journal 101: Bible Journalgraphics
- To Do-ers List Study Guide PDF
- Days Lite: My Wonderful Life App free app from App Store.
Don’t forget to comment on your experience in the comment section below!
**If you are starting late, please access the first seven days of the study on the links below!**
To Do-ers List Day 1: Love God
To Do-ers List, Day 2: Love Others
To Do-ers List, Day 3: Pray ’bout Everything
To Do-ers List, Day 4: Walk by Faith
To Do-ers List, Day 5: Word in Me
To Do-ers List: Day 6: Always Do Good
To Do-ers List: Day 7: Trust God
Be a doer of the word.
All rights reserved
Things I learned today:
1. The Israelites missed God because they wouldn’t believe He would take care of them.
2. Complaining = disbelief.
3. When I complain, I miss God.
4. Complaining tarnishes my witness.
5. Grumbling keeps me small and shrinks my influence (tent vs. pleasant land).
6. The word “grumbled” in Psalm 106 means “willful disobedience to authority.” When I complain I am CHOOSING to disobey God.This so so much worse than I originally thought. I used to think complaining was a bad habit. Now I think it is a bad sin.
I am reminded of that old adage…I could complain but no one wants to hear it anyway. We all have things everyday we could complain about but I try very hard to remember there are people who have it so much worse than I do so honestly I have no right to complain.
Jellene Morehead says
I don’t like to complain but I do it anyway. If I complain my husband has a worse pain or complaint. So therefore I don’t want to hear him so I don’t complain. If you don’t want to hear it from anyone then don’t do it yourself. I work with whiney bags, why don’t we have good positive stories to tell each other or testimonies about how good God is to us? We should use our words for praise not complaints.
Jellene, I love your insights and comments. I believe you’re right complaining leads to more complaints. I think whining and complaining is based on pride. Thank you for sharing!