I was in a restaurant the other day and the tables were close to each other, so it was easy to hear (yes, eavesdrop on) the various groups talking. As I listened, I realized there was a distinct pattern across the conversation – complaining. Everyone was complaining about something. Just realized, even I am complaining about all the complaining!
No one wins when you complain. You get all worked up, you keep pulling the scabs off of the sores that need to heal…and your complaining is almost always unwelcomed by those you are complaining to. Complaining to others actually puts you on a dangerous slippery slope to deadly sins such as pride, duplicity, laziness, self-pity, an unforgiving heart, bitterness, or rage.
So why do we complain so much? Our innate nature is to want to try to make ourselves look better, so we pick at so many issues, putting others down which then allows us to “rank” in a better position than them. Another reason for complaining is our pride in thinking we know exactly how situations should go, and when these events don’t go as planned, we complain about the alternative reality that God deals us.
When you look at the past, the goal needs to bring hope to the future. Complaining is not constructive remembering, it is destructive remembering. If you are going to process negative events, and I am certainly advocating we do need to do this, we have to be careful of our real motive for reviewing these negative events.
Today, if you feel like complaining, talk with God about the difficult path you are on – He understands better than anyone else the stresses and strains that are affecting you. Talking it out with God will temper your thoughts, soothe your feelings, clear your perspective, and help you begin seeing things from His perspective. If you are complaining or listening to complaining, stop and take time to check your motives. Always remember where each of us came from, a sinner saved by grace… and there is a list of people with complaints about you, too. Your choice, choose well!
Dear Father God, I have been on a long, uphill journey, and my energy is almost depleted. In this state of mind, I find myself all-too-quick to complain to others. I want to live by Your Word, Lord…and Your Word teaches me to do everything without complaining. Help me, Lord, to bring my complaints only to You. Help me to not ridicule others by complaining about them. Help me, Lord, to develop and maintain a thankful heart. I pray, Lord, that You help me send the message to others, in a gentle loving way, that complaining is wasteful and counterproductive. Help me lead them to You. I pray in the name of the one who refreshes me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
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
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint