Do complaining Christians make you want to avoid church?

Do complaining Christians make you want to avoid church? It might. Sometimes, maybe it even should. However, having said that, it depends on who’s complaining, why, and to whom? Believe it or not, Biblically speaking, some complaining can be good. But some complaints can be very destructive. Oh, by the way, don’t leave the church in general. Leave that church – and find another.

I used to have a big sign in my office.

In large letters, it said Complaint Department.

And then at the bottom was a tiny little box.

That’s where the complaint was to be written.

In other words, don’t bother.

But you could talk to me.

And that’s part of why complaining could be good.

Do you think you got it? How a good complaint comes about?

Let’s go through some passages and see if you still think you’re right.

How often is complaining mentioned in the Bible?

I searched the 1984 NIV for various forms of the word complain: complain, complaint, and complaining. I was, to put it mildly, surprised.
Complain: 7 times.
Complaint: 11 times.
Complaining: 1 time.
That’s a total of only 19 times. But of the 17, only 2 of them are in the New Testament!

That really shocked me. Of course, there are other words in there. Like grumbling. The Israelites did lots of grumbling during their trek in the desert, gaining their freedom while going from slavery under Pharaoh to the promised land. But still. If someone today searches for some form of the word “complain” like I did, they won’t find much.

Obviously, or maybe not considering some of what I’ve written, 19 passages is too much to examine. So, let’s look at the two New Testament verses.

But, having said all that, we can still hope for less complaining overall. I’ve seen it. It can and does happen. As more people use the power given to us to be more loving, something happens. Some will leave the church, because they really like to complain. But others will see the difference and will also, and more quickly, realize that being loving is so much better than complaining.

Ultimately though, there’s one more reason to write this. If you’re not Christian, and complaining Christians do turn you off (as they did me), there’s another message for you. God’s desire for us is to be more loving. That includes being less complaining. To the extent we fail to live up to God’s desires for us, the fault is ours, not His.

Don’t be turned off to God because complaining Christians exist. It’s the goal, as Paul wrote, that’s important. In the end, there are only two choices. Eternity with God. Or eternity without God. If our desire is eternity without complaining, then there’s only one way to go. Join us, in a community of Christians who are really trying to be more loving. Less complaining. And looking forward to an eternity of no complaining.

Please Leave a Comment or Ask a Question

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: