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Daily Devotion

National Whiners’ Day

By Dianne Neal Matthews
Guest Writer - Who says the day after Christmas isn’t a holiday in its own right? In 1986 Rev. Kevin Zaborney designated December 26 as National Whiner’s Day. Zaborney founded the holiday in hopes of encouraging people to be thankful for what they have rather than unhappy about what they don’t have. Suggestions for celebrating National Whiner’s Day include visiting a mall or store to watch people whine as they return or exchange unwanted gifts, inviting friends over for a “Whine and Geeze” party, and holding a whining contest with family and friends.

Each year, the most famous whiner(s) is announced, from nominations accepted through December 15. Lindsay Lohan won the dubious honor for 2010. The website ( for National Whiner’s Day states, “Lindsay Lohan has continued to whine about her circumstances and appears to people to be simply ‘missing the point’. Despite Ms. Lohan's whining and lacking a need to accept responsibility for her issues, it is hoped she can benefit from her treatment and return as a better and more giving person.”

We might get annoyed by whining, but God has been listening to a whole lot of it ever since he created the human race. After he miraculously delivered the Israelites from slavery and led them through the Red Sea, they grumbled to each other and to Moses about a lack of water. Twelve days later they complained about missing their “good old days” as slaves:

“If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” Exodus 16:3 (NLT)

When God gave them manna, they whined for meat. He sent them quail, but also a severe plague. The Israelites’ attitude angered God because it revealed a lack of trust in the One who had promised to take care of them and bring them safely into the Promised Land.

While David was a master of expressing thanks and praise to God, he also excelled at complaining. In many of his psalms he railed against his circumstances and his enemies. Psalm 69 presented God with a list of complaints. David was sinking in deep mire. Those who hated him without cause outnumbered the hairs of his head. He was weary from crying. For God’s sake he had experienced reproach and dishonor. Yet God called this grumbler “a man after my own heart.”

How did David’s complaining differ from the Israelites’ grumbling? David did his whining to God alone. While hiding in a cave from Saul, he wrote,

“I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him.” (Psalms 142:2)

Since David poured out his disappointments and grievances directly to God, he avoided bitterness and found release from his burdens. David often used the word “but” in his psalms to move from complaining to focusing on God’s goodness and faithfulness. He ended his complaints by expressing his belief that God would sustain and deliver him.

If I’m honest, I have to admit that I resemble the Israelites more often than I do David. If God parted an ocean to rescue me from my enemies, surely I would thank Him for the rest of my life and trust Him to fill my basic needs like water and food. Or would I? I have a Savior Who gave His life to pay for my sins, yet I begin to doubt His good intentions whenever my plans don’t work out. My natural response to disappointment is whining, not trust and thankfulness.

God is the One who decides the details of our life. He chooses what abilities, personality type, and spiritual gifts we possess. He assigns our ministry and places us in the environment where he wants to use us. When we express discontent with who we are or whine about our circumstances, we are complaining about his provision. God wants us to demonstrate trust that he knows what is best for us and will work things out for good. So this year, I will choose to celebrate National Whiner’s Day on December 26—but with praise and thankfulness instead of whining.

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever. Psalms 136:26 (NLT)

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This Devotion is adapted from The One Year On This Day (Tyndale House 2005) with permission.

Dianne Neal Matthews lives in the Salt Lake City area. Her publishing credits include magazine articles, newspaper features, Bible studies, stories in compilation books, and several daily Devotions including The One Year Women of the Bible (Tyndale House, 2007). She serves as a correspondent for, and also enjoys speaking and teaching at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit or connect with her on Facebook ( or Twitter (@DianneNMatthews).

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