Why do I complain so much?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

We were very saddened to hear of Billy Graham's passing. We will continue to run new and archived versions of his column until it is no longer syndicated.

Q: Recently my niece asked me why I was constantly complaining about everything, and I had to face the fact that she's probably right. I guess I've been a complainer most of my life, without even realizing it. How can I change? I don't really want to be this way. -- Mrs. E.B.

A: I'm thankful for your niece; it took courage for her to confront you about this. Most of us don't like to have our faults pointed out to us -- but if we aren't confronted with them, we'll probably never change. The Bible says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs" (Ephesians 4:29).

Have you even asked yourself why you complain so much? I doubt if it's because your life is filled with overwhelming problems and deep sorrows -- and even if it is, it shouldn't turn you into a bitter, constant complainer. Perhaps instead you want others to feel sorry for you, or you want their attention. In reality, however, no one likes to be around someone who constantly complains and looks only on the negative side of things. The Bible says, "Be content with what you have" (Hebrews 13:5).

What should you do? First, see your complaining for what it really is: a sin against God. Admit it ... confess it ... trust Christ to forgive it ... and then, with His help, leave it behind. When a complaint is on your tongue, ask God to take it away.


In addition, ask God to give you a grateful heart -- in other words, an attitude of constant thankfulness. Thankfulness drives out complaining! The Bible tells us to be "always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:20).


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:




Barney & Clyde David M. Hitch David Fitzsimmons Jack Ohman The Pajama Diaries Bart van Leeuwen