• Staci Sweet

Is Arguing the Same as Complaining?

REAL ISSUE: ‘I like to argue.’

‘nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.’ I Corinthians 10:10


There are several components to complaining; one of which is arguing. According to Wikipedia, when you argue you are trying ‘to persuade someone, by giving reason or evidence for accepting a particular conclusion.’ Simply put, you have opinions or ideas in which you see as right and you want to persuade other people to do or think the same way you do. If however, those people don’t share those same opinions or ideas, you become combative. So much so that you’ll raise your voice, work your neck, use hand gestures, throw objects, or become verbally or physically abusive.

You might ask, what does arguing have to do with complaining? Well, complain means ‘to protest, whine, find fault, nitpick, nag, object, and criticize’ to name a few. So when you argue, aren’t you usually protesting, nagging, or objecting to what they said, did, or were intending to do? Weren’t you trying to loudly persuade them? Thus by default and quite subtly, arguing is a component of complaining.

But remember I Corinthians 10:10 says that when ‘some of them complained’, the destroyer destroyed. Destroy means to lose – so when you complain, you’ll lose and when you argue, you’ll lose. But what? The grace needed to persuade in that situation.

I know there’ll be times when you’ll be tempted to argue. I mean you can’t let them talk to you like that. But at the end of the day, what’s more important; that you won the argument or that you lost God’s grace?


Pay attention to the situations, people, or things that cause you to complain or argue. Write them down if you need to. See if you notice a pattern. If so, pray and ask God how to handle those situations.

Copyright 2011 © Real Issues Ministries®. All rights reserved.