The Bible uses two main words to describe people’s responses to suffering or bad circumstances: GROANING and GRUMBLING.
Groaning is commanded; grumbling is forbidden.
What’s the difference? Groaning is complaining TO GOD; grumbling is complaining ABOUT GOD. Groaning happens to God’s face; grumbling happens behind God’s back.
In the Bible, the place where people groan is on their knees where they’ve been driven by sorrow, suffering, and adversity. The place where people grumble is in their tents, where they think they are in private and are free to exaggerate, blame, play the victim, and excuse their own lack of obedience.
Grumbling is also contagious. People with a negative grumbling spirit will inevitably look for other grumblers to join them.
In grumbling, I make my irritations and inconveniences known to everyone around me. But in groaning, I speak directly to God about what troubles me. I hold nothing back.
In human relationships, if there’s a problem between us, groaning means I commit to talk to YOU about US, not talk ABOUT you to somebody else.