• Mark Alan Williams

Some People Grumble That Roses Have Thorns;

Updated: May 21, 2019

I am grateful that thorns have roses.—Alphonse Karr


Some people grumble that roses have thorns; while others are grateful that thorns have roses. This quote is about how to view life. There will always be plenty of reasons to grumble about the thorns, but we may miss the beauty of the roses. It’s better to realize that even though life is full of thorns or problems, there are still roses to be grateful for that represent everything good and lovely in life.


This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

Sometimes, in the evening, when I’m tired; I spend time thinking about circumstances that I wish were different. I complain and grumble, mostly to myself and God.


But, recently and thankfully, the leader for our women’s life group selected a Bible study about learning contentment. So far, I’ve learned that we can make ourselves discontent if we focus on things and situations that are not as we want, instead of being grateful for all that is good in our lives. I’m praying that the Lord will use this study to change me and the other women in our group, and to help us learn how to be more content and grateful.


When we grumble, we demonstrate that we are discontent with circumstances in life, and that somehow God owes us something better or He is withholding blessings from us. If we grumble instead of being grateful, life will pass us by and we may miss all the beauty.


Life can be very painful, but if we habitually grumble, we only add to the discomfort, by making ourselves and others feel worse.


The Bible says that Christians should be different from the world and not grumble so that we will shine for Christ. Instead, we can and should have a positive outlook.

Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.” (Philippians 2:14-15 HCSB)

It’s healthy to mourn our losses and pour our hearts out to God; but it doesn’t glorify Him or benefit us if we grumble. Others certainly won’t come to Christ if they always see us unhappy.


We need to change our behavior; and this comes through an inner transformation in our hearts and minds, from the Holy Spirit who indwells Christians.


He can produce His fruit in our lives if we surrender and ask for His help.


Galatians 5:22-25 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (NLT)


When all we see are the thorns, we can take some steps with the Lord’s help to change our focus.

We can do as Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (NIV)


  • Take a break from watching the news and reading tabloid magazines and articles; which are mostly negative.

  • Unsubscribe from any negative emails.

  • Work at changing discouraging thoughts and conversation to things that are good in life.

  • If gossip is a problem; change the conversation, by making a positive comment.

Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful”. (Colossians 3:15 CEV)

We can use the following ideas to help us see the “roses” in life and realize there are still so many blessings for which we can be grateful.


  • Meditate on the truths contained in Scripture.

  • Praise God for His goodness by spending time worshipping Him or listening to praise music.

  • Get outside in nature and take a walk, if possible. Thank God for the beauty of His creation.

  • Also, thank Him for life, breath; friends, family, church, sunsets, flowers, food, clothing, etc.

  • Serve another by offering to pray for someone, serving at a homeless shelter or cooking a meal for someone in need.

Although, each suggestion requires a sacrifice of time, effort or expense; it’s worth it to receive a fresh perspective on our blessings, which can enable us to be more grateful.


Do you grumble that roses have thorns or are you grateful that thorns have roses? 


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“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr

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