How to Complain With The Right Attitude

Is it okay to complain to God or does He consider it whining? Vicki share the difference.

“‘Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said (Job 2:10).”

Dear Job, Thank you. Thanks for showing us the right way to complain.

When is complaining wrong and when is it okay? Consider this response to a child’s complaint.

“Mommy, my tummy still hurts.”

“Stop telling me that. How many times have I told you not to complain?”

No parent would respond that way. A mother wants to know when her child isn’t feeling well. That kind of complaining is necessary. The parent isn’t a mind reader.

How about this type of complaint: “You never buy the toy I want. You don’t love me anymore.”

That type questions the love of the parent.

Job showed us how to tell God we’re suffering, while still praising Him.

He felt free to complain to God. “Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul” (Job 7:11).

“I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul” (Job 10:1).

Job even described his misery. “. . . The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn . . . My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope” (Job 7:4, 6).

What sets Job apart is that he didn’t curse God. He praised Him.

In Job 13:15 Job expressed his steadfast hope in God: “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.”

In his pain and anguish, Job could still say, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on the earth” (Job 19:25).

He acknowledged God’s sovereignty. “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).

What if everyone could hear our thoughts? Thankfully, they can’t. Except God. Yet, we try to conceal them from Him. What’s the point? He knows what we feel, wish, and think. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

We can follow Job’s example to freely tell God how we’re suffering. While praising Him and not cursing Him.

Prayer: Dear Father, It’s no fun to have a chronic illness. You know the constant pain I feel in my extremities. Help me remember You’re a loving Father. One who desires to hear my cry. Show me how to complain without cursing You. Thank You for never leaving me. Night or day, You’re just a prayer away. Help my focus to be always on You so I won’t wallow in self-pity. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness.

Vicki wrote a picture book about bullying: “Heart Eyes: Beth and the Bullies.” You can find out more about that book by visiting her Heart Eyes website:

What’s your example of complaining like Job?

Have you seen trouble? Feel like you have a right to complain? “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” with Wintley Phipps was first found in “Slave Songs of the United States,” a collection of African American music published in 1867. It was the first, and most influential collection of spirituals to be published and the first published collection of African-American music of any kind. These kinds of spirituals are great examples of how to praise God while living in very difficult circumstances. I am sure it will bless you today. -Lisa