John 16:20
Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

A very dear friend and mentor asked me to elaborate on my take on complaining in the last newsletter.  She sent me a lot of interesting verses and course work on lamenting.  (She’s a mental health therapist).

Complaining to me has to do More with whining to other people who usually are just an ear, c powerless to help you. There is important complaining, when appropriate.  But the majority of complaining is not good. Lamenting, to me, means to be crying out to God.   Always good and welcome. Being truly sorry or crushed.  Beseeching God.  

Lamentation is a prayer to God.   Complaining is a prayer to man.

The definition of a lament is a passionate expression of doubt, disappoint, heart break, grief or sorrow.

I have only heard someone lament audibly when their heart was overwhelmed with grief, and usually only at that moment of loss.   I have only seen someone lament as a soldier and  as a pastor.   There is no difference between a pastor or anyone else who truly believes.   I know soldiers that are believers. I know ‘pastors’ who aren’t.  The difference isn’t in the career or job.  The difference is whether or not you believe that Jesus is risen from the dead and confess Him with your mouth.  

If you do, you are born again.  You actually have some worthwhile to offer them. Your response will be different because you are Saved.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Saved people don’t usually complain to man, but rather lament to God. (At least that’s the way it’s supposed to be.)  Here’s the difference between lamenting and complaining.



*Disclaimer, although the following points are negative, there are a lot of Biblical and commons sense applications where complaining is necessary and even good. Complaining about dangers, crimes, injustices and inequities to people that can actually do something about it is good and important.*

Now for normal, negative complaining.

1. Complaining usually (almost always) is talking bad about someone else.  Even personal circumstances, health or finances.  A Christian complaining about their health, circumstances or finances to others is like a bad wife complaining to everyone about her dead beat and abusive husband.  When a Christian complains, it’s saying that their Husband, (God) is a bad spouse, that He is negligent.

2.  Complaints are directed to people, not to God.  Most of the time to people not involved or people incapable of doing anything about it.

3.  No one ever expects a positive outcome by griping.  The best they can hope for by complaining about someone is to damage another person’s view towards that person.

4. Complaining is causing strife and division indirectly.  Complaining is usually gossip.  The root word for satanic is ‘slander’.  Complaining is often gossip.  Complaining is the same thing as murmuring. God hates complaining, strife, murmuring, and gossip.  All of it is satanic.

5.  Complaints are enjoyable to some listeners. Personally I can’t stand Chronic complaining because it 1. It’s chronic.  The complainer will always see something bad.  I know a ‘missionary’ who came down.  He said his gifting was to ‘point out Problems.’ I never saw ‘whiny baby’ as a spirit gifting in the bible. 2. Chronic complaints affect my opinion about others. Plus they’ll be crying about me the moment my back’s turned.  Gossip and complaining go hand in hand.  Most people love to be complained to (pride) and to listen to juicy gossip.

6.  Complaints (like gossiping) are usually untrue, from a wrong Perspective and/or greatly exaggerated.

7.   The lie  ‘getting stuff off your chest will make you feel better’ is not true.  The more you complain, the more resentful you get.  Especially if you find a ‘sympathetic ear’.

8.  Complaining is usually judgemental.  A person that complains is usually prideful, Suggesting he or she know of a better way. You would be amazed of what some people are proud of.    God resist the proud.

9.  Complaints are jumping the chain of command. Don’t complain to your fellow pew warmer or co-worker.  They really don’t care about you.   Go straight to the Source.  Lord God almighty. He is crazy about you!!

10.   Complaints are trivial.  And often.  And cheap.

11.   God doesn’t honor complaints Of man to another man.  You’ve short circuited the design.

12.  To be Complaining, you need words.  The tongue is imposible to control without a born again heart.

James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.


Lamenting is completely different.

1. Words aren’t needed, nor is the tongue.

2. It’s Usually Never to another person.  If it is, it’s very uncomfortable to the listener.

3. God loves it when lamentations are directed to Him.

4. Lamentations are usually true and not exaggerated because you’re talking to ‘All knowing, omniscient’ God.  It’s Not a good idea to lie to God.

5.  Lamentations are directed to God, not man.

6.  Good results are expected. Sorrows will be turned to joy for a believer.

7.  Lamenting to God feels good.  It heals.

8.  God hears and is moved to bless you if you are a believer.

9.  Lamenting makes you humble.  It’s putting things in their correct priority.

10.  Laments come with a price.  They are used sparingly because they are about heavy and important topics.

11.  God honors the lamentations from believers.

12.  Lamenting is spiritual, and good.  Lamenting never affects other people’s faith in God or in others.

Psalms teaches you how to lament to God. Pastor Malc (Calvary Chapel Merritt Island) once stated that many of David’s psalms (songs) started out as laments but ended up as praise.

Psalm 13:1 How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? 2. How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? 3. Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; 4. Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. 5. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.


Dean and Winnie Peters

Joyfully serving the ‘least of these’ in Managua Nicaragua

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