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Anatomy of a Grumbler

Complaining shows a loss of perspective, a failure to remember who is in control.
By Dennis Rainey

Many years ago (when Barbara and I had six children fourteen and under) I wrote the following piece about complaining. We must have had an epidemic then of whining and bellyaching around our house.  

Dear Friend,

I want to complain about complaining. I want to gripe about grumbling, grouchiness, faultfinding, and whining. My dad used to call it “bellyaching.”

Do you ever get annoyed with complaining around your house? I do. I mean, the stuff we grumble about is really big time, major league circumstances. We gripe about who gets to sit where at the dinner table. (We now assign seats.) We grumble about chores, especially who cleans up after dinner.

We get grumpy over socks that never match, toilets that are never flushed, toys that populate the floor, and tubs that are littered with an assortment of dolls, boats, bottles, and melting bars of soap. Kids gripe if they see another child getting an advantage or an unfair gain. I murmur when my car gets trashed out by a herd of French-fry eating youngsters, and grumble when it seems we're seldom on time when our family goes anywhere.

It became so bad about a year ago, that we all memorized Philippians 2:14, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.”  That helped.

Like sulfuric acid, complaining can eat away at whatever it splashes on. Complaining corrodes joy and dissolves good attitudes. Spiritually, it’s dangerous and deadly.

I wonder what we would find if we performed open‑heart surgery on a complain­er. Exploratory surgery would reveal that grumbling can be a form of heart disease, rebellion against authority. It also shows a loss of perspective, a failure to remember Who is in control. It's an attitude that questions, “Does God really know what's best for me?”

Griping and complaining are vocal amplifiers of one's heart attitude. God wants us to see Him in the midst of our circumstances, to trust Him even when we do not see the outcome.

Copyright © 2013 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

FamilyLife is a donor-supported ministry offering practical and biblical resources and events to help you build a godly marriage and family.

Meet the Author: Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey hosts FamilyLife Today®, a nationally syndicated broadcast bringing help and hope to nearly 1000 communities in the U.S. Along with his wife, Barbara, the Raineys co-founded FamilyLife®, a ministry committed to helping marriages and families survive and thrive in our generation. Dennis and Barbara live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children and an impressive number of grandchildren.



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