Friday, October 26, 2012

Overcoming A Complaining Spirit-Praying Through Problems

Series: Overcoming A Complaining Spirit

I knew the story before she arrived. “She stepped on my foot. I don’t think she meant to, but it hurt.” “Are you okay,” I asked. She was and trotted off.

No sooner had she ambled away than another wobbled up, pointed with a crooked finger and said “I was playing with the basketball and he took it away.” I whispered, “I’ll watch him.”

Sadly, this all-too-common complaining spirit follows us into adulthood. It did with the Israelites. Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused (Numbers 11:1).

Having endured 400 years slaving for a foreign power, you’d think freedom would have squelched any complaints, but they were barely out of Egypt when they started. Their complaints began when they saw the Red Sea before them and Pharaoh’s armored chariots pulled by bellowing horses behind them. “Moses, why did you bring us into the desert to die?” God delivered them, but they quickly whined about their food and water shortage. So God delivered manna and quail and poured water from a rock. Still they complained.

Moses himself wasn’t immune; he complained about the complainers. But eventually he made the proper move and gave God the problem. Complaining about life’s challenges-and other things in general that dissatisfy us, only sours our attitude and embitters our relationship with others who probably have enough troubles of their own. While some complaints are merited, how we handle solving the issue reflects on our testimony and character. Through prayer, God can show us the positive side of our dilemma, change our attitude, and give us wisdom to take the appropriate action. When life sours on you-or when you’re tempted to complain just to be complaining, pray instead. 

Prayer: Merciful Savior, when we’re attracted to complaining, draw us to prayer.


  1. This is good! I need this reminder often. It's hard not to "complain about the complainers" and feel self righteous about it!

  2. Good reminder. I think it's something we really have to be on guard about -- especially those of us with chronic pain. The complaining sneaks in without us being aware of it. At least it happens with me and I have to give it back to God. There's too many things to be thankful for to complain about the negatives.

  3. Something that really helped me with complaining was Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts". Counting the little gifts, the little blessings, day in and day out replace that contentious attitude with one of gratitude. I can't say how much this has changed me and my daily outlook.

  4. Such a relevant post to what I have been going through this week. I really have to watch myself...sometimes my compassion for others will allow me to listen to much to their complaints and then I find myself in that pattern as well! Thank you so much for sharing1 Love and blessings from one of your new followers...Nicole at Seven Flowers!