Complaining is a natural response that allows us to express our dissatisfaction and frustration with situations that we may deem unjust or unfair. 

However, even though it’s a natural response, the Bible places significant emphasis on avoiding complaining. It teaches us that complaining tends to bring about negativity, conflict, ingratitude, and consequently, God’s punishment. For example, during the Exodus, the Israelites complained a lot and they often faced consequences for their consistent complaining, including their delayed arrival to the promised land.

Bible verses about complaining.
An image of two young ladies.

The Bible advises us to do everything without grumbling (Philippians 2:14). Instead of complaining, it teaches the significance of being content and thankful in all circumstances, as stated in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. It also reminds us to turn to God in prayer when we face challenges instead of complaining.

50 insightful Bible verses about complaining

Philippians 2:14-15 

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

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1 Corinthians 10:9-10 

“We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.”

James 5:9   

“Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”

Numbers 11:1   

“And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.”

Exodus 16:7-8  

“And in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?’ And Moses said, ‘When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.’”

Jude 1:16   

“These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.”

Psalm 106:25-26   

“They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord. So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the wilderness”

John 6:43-44   

“‘Stop grumbling among yourselves,’ Jesus answered. ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.’”

Romans 1:21

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Bible verses about complaining.
Bible verse from the book of 1 Peter 4:9.

1 Peter 4:9   

“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

Numbers 14:27   

“‘How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me.'”

1 Corinthians 6:1-5   

“When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?”

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Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

James 4:11   

“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.”

Romans 9:19-21   

“You will say to me then, ‘Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?’ But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?”

2 Timothy 2:23

“Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.”

2 Timothy 2:24-26  

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

James 1:19-20   

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

1 Timothy 6:3-5   

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”

Bible verses about complaining.
Bible verse from the book of Proverbs 19:3.

Proverbs 19:3   

“When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord.”

Proverbs 20:3   

“It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.”

Colossians 3:12-13  

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

Job 9:27

“If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile,'”

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Jeremiah 12:1-2

“You are always righteous, Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts.” 

Proverbs 18:6   

“A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.”

Galatians 5:15   

“But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”

Proverbs 17:14   

“The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.”

Romans 14:13   

“Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”

Proverbs 26:20   

“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.”

Bible verses about complaining.
Bible verse from the book of Proverbs 20:3.

Ephesians 4:26-27  

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”

Proverbs 12:16   

“The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.”

Proverbs 15:18   

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”

Titus 3:9   

“But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.”

Proverbs 26:17   

“Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.”

1 Timothy 1:3-4   

“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.”

Proverbs 26:21   

“As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.”

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Romans 16:17  

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”

Colossians 3:13

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Proverbs 23:29 

“Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?”

Lamentations 3:39

“Why should the living complain when punished for their sins?”

Bible verses about complaining.
Bible verse from the book of 2 Timothy 2:23.

2 Timothy 2:14   

“Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.”

Proverbs 30:32  

 “If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.”

1 Timothy 6:4-5  

“He is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”

Proverbs 17:19   

“Whoever loves transgression loves strife; he who makes his door high seeks destruction.”

Proverbs 29:22   

“A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.”

Titus 3:10   

“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him.”

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Proverbs 18:19   

“A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.”

2 Timothy 2:16-17   

“But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.”

1 Timothy 2:8 

 “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling.”

1 Corinthians 1:10   

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”