Is it OK for a Christian to complain?

Last week, we had stressful day which led to a stressful weekend, and has added unnecessary stress to this week.

At first, I tried to stay positive about the events of last Thursday, especially as I shared details on my Facebook pages and personal profile.

Side Note: I get really frustrated by certain friends on FB because every other post is a rant or complaint, and I don’t need any more negativity in my life. I’ve actually unfriended and blocked several individuals because their posts were so negative so frequently.

By Friday afternoon, the frustrations had built, and I couldn’t put on my “it’s all OK” mask anymore.

I carefully weighed my words and measured my nuances, and I let my frustrations seep out onto Facebook and the blog.

in the wrong place at the wrong time

I’m still not sure I was in the right allowing my frustrations to be voiced in this space. Not that I want to exude an air of “having it all together” (because, let me tell you, I don’t), but because I’m not sure that it served to encourage or build anyone up – which is my goal with this blog.

Ephesians 4.29 is my filter for anything I share in my online spaces, and I’m not sure last Thursday’s blog post passed the filter test.

I want to be real in this space, but I don’t want to do or say anything that detracts from pointing others to Christ.

 

And so I’m struggling to find the line…

Philippians 2.14 says that we are to do all things “without grumbling” in order to “shine as lights in the world.” Is sharing the details of a frustrating day the same as grumbling? Does voicing my frustrations over circumstances outside my control dim my light for Christ?

 

To be completely honest… I don’t know!

I don’t think that being a Christian means I have to be “happy” all the time. (For the record, there is a difference between being “happy” and being “content.”)

But, does being a Christian – one who seeks to bring glory to God in all things – mean I shouldn’t complain or voice my frustrations?

 

Talk to me…

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

>>Please Note: This is a judgment-free zone. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with me, but any comments that are attacking and/or impolite in nature will be censored. Please keep all comments civil and polite, even in disagreement.<<


  • http://twitter.com/marykprather Homegrown Learners

    Ashley — sometimes I think it is voicing doubts and concerns rather than complaining. You are HUMAN, and I think through your voicing frustrations other Christians can help you or at the very least commiserate with you. I don’t think complaining all the time is a good thing, but after the events that happened to you last week, I’m surprised you didn’t complain MORE. Please don’t be so hard on yourself! Hugs!

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Thank you for the encouragement, Mary!

      I think it is finding that line between complaining and simply voicing my frustrations where I struggle. The world is too full of negativity, and it is it so contagious. I’m just trying, through God’s grace and guidance, to be a voice of hope.
      It is good to work through this dilemma in a “public” arena such as my blog in order to illicit wisdom from other believers such as yourself!

  • Janice C Johnson

    Sure, there’s no use pretending that Christians don’t get frustrated and annoyed by little disasters like this. If we didn’t, how could a non-believer relate to us? It’s okay to acknowledge your feelings about it. I think you handled it with grace and maturity. While admitting you were frustrated you didn’t resort to abusive language, and then you soon turned your attention to what would glorify the Lord.

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      Thank you, Jan. I am thankful to have friends like you who confirm that I am walking in the Light when I am unsure of my steps!

  • http://www.wellness-and-workouts.com/ Eileen – Wellness and Workouts

    Oh, I just read your Valentine’s day post. You have such a tender spirit, to ask a question like this. Especially when you usually avoid negative posts.

    It is a terrific question. I fear many would not even know God’s word well enough to ask it.

    I read a quote recently that said something like this: “For your strengths, people will respect you. For your weaknesses, they will love you.”

    So I guess your friends will find you a bit more lovable, now :)

    • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

      I love that quote, Eileen. Thank you for sharing it!

      • http://www.wellness-and-workouts.com/ Eileen – Wellness and Workouts

        You’re welcome, Ashley! I’m glad you like it, too. :)

  • Kelly

    I didn’t think you did anything wrong at all! This particular incident was a big deal. You’re exactly right about finding the balance. Sharing with others that you have your own struggles makes it easier for everyone to relate to you. I agree with Eileen in the point that your willingness to share this concern with your readers proves that your heart is in the right place.

    Also, remember that Paul himself admitted and even named many of his adversities. When you were going through your crummy week, you were careful to share your desire to choose joy instead of stress. Aren’t rough circumstances how God inspired Paul to write letters like Philippians? The point is, you chose to be real while choosing to let it make you better not bitter.

  • http://twitter.com/redmestic Audra Michelle

    I agree – this is a troublesome line to walk! As I was reading, what jumped out to me was the word “legalism.” We are all humans. We are going to mess up daily. It’s a guarantee! I know that in my heart, as sinful as it is, if I place a RULE on something (such as I will never utter a complaint on my blog) then I will likely quickly spiral into legalism in that area which will spread to others and all sorts of sinfulness will come spewing out everywhere. That’s just me. I’m working through some very difficult issues right now involving legalism imposed by a former church, so I know I am sensitive and vulnerable in this area. Basically, yes, we should use a filter, but, honestly, I think it’s ok if some things get through that we don’t intend. I know that I am built up in my walk more by seeing other Christians being REAL. I spent years trying to live up to what appeared to be Christianity at its best (and failing miserably and feeling defeated and even seriously stumbling in my walk because of it). Now that I am out of that environment, I am realizing how important it is to let others, especially non-Christians, see that I don’t have it all together and that I mess up. Often. Things that appear to be good and following the rules all the time (I don’t mean this condescendingly at ALL – I really respect what you do here!) can be very intimidating to someone who is struggling in their walk. That’s just from my humble experience!

  • http://thehomespunlife.com Sisterlisa

    If I felt like I couldn’t be unglued from time to time then how would encouragers know I needed their gift to lift me up? Sometimes confessing our struggles is what helps us find healing…and find people who care.

  • http://thehomespunlife.com Sisterlisa

    I don’t think the car post was complaining. I’d be upset too. Glad the insurance is going to take care of it.