Is complaining a sin?

Note, I am not talking about complaining about/to God.

I am talking about complaining in general.

For example - I really hate it when my kids leave their clothes on the floor. They have a shower and leave their towels on the floor. They leave their dishes on the table. They leave their crumbs all over the counter when they make their sandwiches for lunch. They never do their practicing, etc, etc, etc. And today, it is raining, my flowers will never grow, it is so miserable and I have to stay indoors all day and if I do go out it will be so unpleasant as I will get wet and the kids will track water in throughout the house, and if the dog goes out when he comes back he will stink, and the newspaper will be wet and it will be hard to read, not to mention that the newspaper is so awfully slanted these days…etc, etc…etc.

Note, I am not complaining here about my kids behavior - I don’t want you to suggest ways to correct their behavior, I am talking about constant criticism with no attempt to correct their action. Just the deluge of complaints. Is this a sin? If so - what commandment is it a sin against. How should a penitent go about correcting this sin. It seems to me - that at its nub it is a lack of gratitude.

We’re trying to make it one in our house. :wink: I’m being partially facetious. And partially not. I think complaining, chronic complaining, can really set a person’s psyche toward negativity. You start to see only what’s wrong, and not what’s right.

People are happier, more forgiving, more charitable, (more Catholic?) when they are not complaining.

Whether or not it’s a sin probably depends on how deep it runs. I think complaining can lead to anger, contempt, etc.

Thanks on the hill. I had to be very careful when typing your name as I might have made a nasty typo which would raise a whole lot of issues against Humanae Vitae!

I was googling around and found this:

Can complaining be a sin? It can be yes.

What can help? Prayer, the Sacraments, frequent confession with focus on such,

frequent “short prayers” - especially prayers of love and thanksgiving,

mortification, periodic examines of conscience, bearing difficulties with a smile…etc

Works of Fr. Jacques Philippe can be helpful too -such as Interior Freedom

“Whenever something disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent.”

-Saint John of the Cross

As others have said, it can be a sin. Even if it doesn’t cross that line, it does have a tendency of leading to negative feelings (which aren’t generally that helpful).

I think you are right about the gratitude. I think the most effective way to counteract the negativity from complaining is to be intentional and deliberate about practicing gratitude. For every complaint that springs to mind, stop and name two things that you are thankful for. Work towards cultivating a habit of gratitude.

It’s easy to complain because we are fallen human beings who are constantly making messes and rubbing each other the wrong way. But it can be easier to be grateful because God created everything good and all that we have is an undeserved gift (up to and including our very lives). We just have to get into the habit (which can be hard because we are fallen human beings who are constantly making messes :p).

Thank you so much Richard - your post exactly hits the spot for me.

God bless you :thumbsup:

Oh Thanks!!! Very good. And too I believe the sacred heart of Jesus says he weill bring order in households too. And there maybe other sacramentals like that too.


Peace and all Good!!

St Benedict of Nursia certainly took complaining very seriously and in his Rule for Benedictine monks, he talks a lot about the dangers of complaining & the harm it can cause to the Spiritual Life. I think he would certainly agree that it is a lack of Gratitude & an unwillingness to accept things as coming from God & being for our good, often in ways we can’t yet see

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