Pithy Post: Nietzsche and the Bible on Complaining

Although I don’t agree with all of Friedrich Nietzsche’s conclusions, he sure had some brilliant insights into the human heart. This is one is about complaining:

“A drive to find causes is powerful in [the human being]: it must be somebody’s fault that he’s feeling bad…Even his ‘beautiful indignation’ does him good; all poor devils like to whine–it gives him a little thrill of power.  Even complaints, the act of complaining, can give life the charm on account of which one can stand to live it: there is a subtle dose of revenge in every complaint… (The Twilight of the Idols, § 34)

Complaining is, according to Nietzsche, a kind of revenge. It is a way of gaining power over some person or institution that has a certain kind of power over you. But according to Paul, that’s exactly the kind of thing that Christians are not about. “Do not take revenge,” he says in Romans 12:19. And then in Philippians 2:14-15:

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. (NIV 1984)”

I know very few people in this world whom I have never heard complain. And they do shine. Come to think of it, it’s not surprising that they shine when they are not willing to use their mouths to gain social power over others. It’s just so different than the way this world operates. Not only that, but it serves as a living testimony to Jesus Christ, who used his power to serve rather than dominate.

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One Response to Pithy Post: Nietzsche and the Bible on Complaining

  1. novareylin says:

    Awesome thought!!! I will have to think more about this in my daily going abouts. Also, makes me want to really think about how much/when I complain!

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