5 Important Bible Verses About Complaining

Let us explore some bible verses about complaining. When things do not go the way we have planned them, it is human nature to complain. In that immediate moment, our focus is on what has gone wrong, our frustration at the delay in our plans, and our annoyance at the situation. So, we complain as loud as we can to whoever will listen.

This is especially true when we are waiting on something. You can imagine how frustrated you get when you are sitting in traffic for half an hour, or while trying to get to an appointment, or waiting for your food order in a restaurant.

What the Bible Says About Complaining

Complaining is sometimes referred to as murmuring or grumbling, and God, through the Bible, has a lot to say about it. Let’s take a look at some different scriptures about complaining and some of the consequences of complaining and arguing. There is much that we can learn on this topic.

Bible Verses About Complaining 

Here are a few bible verses about complaining and arguing:

Philippians 2:14

Do everything without grumbling or arguing

It’s pretty clear. Everything, generally, means everything.

James 5:9

Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

Complaining and grumbling store up judgment for ourselves. Let’s, instead, choose to love and forgive one another.

1 Corinthians 10:10

And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

This verse shows how grumbling and complaining can lead to a lack of obedience. Complaining is an issue of the heart that lacks contentment in God.

Jude 1:14-16

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage

The first two verses in this passage give us a warning of the coming judgment. The second half shows us what is bringing this judgment. Notice what’s at the top of the list? – the grumblers and complainers.

Numbers 16:27-30

When the children of Israel sent 12 spies that included Joshua and Caleb to go scope out the land before them, they all believed the negative report of 10 of the spies (Numbers 15). They got scared and grumbled against Moses and God (Numbers 16:2-4). They even planned to stone the two spies, Joshua and Caleb, who asked them to trust in God and forge ahead. God was so angry and disappointed with these set of complainers that he decreed the following:

27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: 29 In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.(Numbers 16:27-30, NKJV)

This is a great example of complaining in the Bible. God did have mercy and promised that their children would enter the promised land, but none of those who complained were allowed to. Can you imagine having to toil for long to get somewhere, only to allow complaining and an ungrateful spirit to completely derail your advancement?

What are the Dangers of Complaining?

The verses above show us that complaining, grumbling, or murmuring is frowned upon by God. There are divine consequences of complaining. 

Complaining does not do anything to resolve whatever situation we find ourselves in. All it does is bring up negative emotions that we sit and stew in, and it discourages us from doing anything productive. Complaining also puts us in an ungrateful state of mind. We are so bogged down by what we are complaining about, that we easily forget all that God has done for us, and how God will always be on our side. Complaining goes in direct contradiction to God’s will for us, because we are instructed to always give thanks, no matter what (I Thessalonians 5:18). The children of Israel discovered, in a hard way, the negative consequences of complaining 

Bible Verses About Complaining and Grumbling

How to Overcome Complaining

While going through tough times and waiting on God, there are a few ways to ensure that we do not grumble and complain.

Focus on Praise and Thanksgiving

Remember to give praise and thanks to God and keep his blessings in mind. When something happens and you find yourself murmuring and grumbling, pause and think back. Reflect on what God has done and remember that He is a God who watches over His promises.

Love God’s Word

Something else that curbs complaining is learning more about God. If we know more about God and what he does and his nature, it will help sustain us in difficult times. The easiest way to learn more about God, is to dive into the Bible and study, not just casually read, all about Him. 


Instead of murmuring and complaining about the situation, why not go to God in prayer? Prayer is a two-way conversation between God and His children. When we go to God with our concerns and issues, not only does he carry our burdens (Matthew 11:28), He can also send answers our way and we receive strength directly from Him.

No matter what storms we face and the tough situations we encounter, these Bible verses about complaining remind us that is not the route to go. We do not want to offend God and we do not want to stay stuck in the negative emotions that complaining brings up. Let us remember to always be grateful and go directly to God with our fears and worries. 

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Meet the Author

Chizoba Morah

I am a blogger, author, speaker, and most importantly a daughter of the Most High God, who enjoys writing and talking to people about God and his wonders. My greatest joy is found in inspiring, motivating, uplifting and encouraging others, with God as the center of all communication and the Bible the only foundation. Visit my blog to find more from me.