“It’s so hot!” “It’s so cold!” “I hate the government!” “Everything is so expensive!” Perhaps, these are just a few phrases that one hears on a regular basis. Complaining is a common part of the lives of many. However, the question is, why? It is important to understand the nature of complaining, why people do it and what purpose it serves. This is crucial in order that all may complain in the right way for their own benefit.
Complaining, it seems, can be separated into two categories: unrighteous complaining and righteous complaining. The former will be addressed first. Some examples of unrighteous complaining are those seen at the beginning of this article as well as others, such as “You can’t do anything right!” and “This food stinks!” The purpose of this kind of complaining is simply to express a negative feeling caused by unfavorable circumstances. Nevertheless, the expression of this negative feeling does no real good. It creates a negative atmosphere and does not aid in one’s happiness. There is no true goal in unrighteous complaining, only a false hope in feeling satisfied after creating a negative atmosphere. This is a temptation from the devil, because creating a negative atmosphere brings no long-lasting peace or joy.
A better way to handle situations such as these should be considered. For example, one can say, “It’s so hot. Let’s stay in the shade and drink some cold drinks.” “Everything is so expensive. Let’s make a plan to save more money or move to a cheaper area.” “This food stinks. Let’s cook our own food from now on.” Obviously, expressing that there is a problem is important, yet the intention is key. Does one express that there is a problem for the sake of making others feel bad and thinking that one will feel better because of it, or does one express that there is a problem in order that a solution may be found? The latter is the right way to solve problems. Unrighteous complaining has no part in God’s plan.
Righteous complaining will now be addressed. Some examples of righteous complaining are as follows: “Excuse me, waiter. I ordered my food an hour ago, and it still hasn’t arrived. I want a free meal.” “Your company promised it would be ready by Monday. It is now Wednesday, and it is still not ready. I demand compensation.” “The product you sold me broke. I want a refund.” When conducted in the right manner, righteous complaining is an important skill. All must learn to possess it. Why? It is because it deals with justice. One must learn to protect what is due to oneself and not let selfish, greedy people take advantage of it. This is not only for our sake but for the sake of our families and friends.
Here are some Bible verses about justice:
Psalm 37:28 — For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. The righteous shall be preserved for ever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
Proverbs 21:15 — When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous,
but dismay to evildoers.
but dismay to evildoers.
Isaiah 1:17 — learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Matthew 23:23 — “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
God loves justice. When we complain in order to preserve justice in the midst of those trying to get away with injustice, we are complaining in a righteous way. It is an important step for correcting what is wrong and preserving what is right. No one should be allowed to get away with murder, whether that “murder” be the loss of money, the loss of time, the manipulation of one’s intellect, and so on.
The next time someone messes up who owes you something, do not be afraid to do justice. Do not whine to your neighbor. Do, instead, God’s justice. Do some righteous complaining and get what is yours.