My devotional reading for the past few days has been on the topic of complaining. When I read the first day, I was like “Yeah, I totally agree. Why won’t people just stop complaining?” This thought came easily as I did not see myself as a complainer.
When devotional topics span more than one day, I go back and read a snippet of the previous reading. So on day 2, I went back and read pieces of day 1 and then finished Day 2. Whoa…Dude, I am a complainer.
I realized that expressing my strong irritation and dislike for things could be heard as complaints by others. (Because they are.) The label fits! Yes, it made me a little bit sad but I took it as constructive criticism and decided that I could change the ‘Complainer’ label I was wearing.
If you know me, you know that I can be very vocal on many things. I’m not too shy. Going back through recent conversations, I know that I have complained about…
- Lazy people
- Kids not being good listeners
- High bills…shoot, bills in general
- People being dumb (sounds rude but sadly there are people who aren’t smart in the world)
- Other people complaining and whining
Dang!! I have to do better! Thankfully, daily devotionals and a great circle of people exist to help with that.
Within the readings of the Word for you Today, the author referenced these scriptures
- “Do everything without complaining or arguing” – Philippians 2:14 NIV
- “Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord” – Numbers 11:1 NIV
Reading through the passages helps to add more clarity on a complaining heart. Complaining doesn’t solve the concern but tends to fan the flames of the fire surrounding the issue. When we complain about something, we are looking for others to get on board with our feelings and validate our complaint.
When thinking about complaining, I could see my whining coming across as “Thank you Lord for allowing me to see another day, providing all my needs, and giving me direction BUT Do Better Tomorrow!” Sounds really crazy right?
I have worked on making my statements more suggestive instead of definitive. I am focusing on making note of (aka helpful complaining) things that I can change…
- Lazy people and dumb people are generally so because it’s their choice. They have to want to change before any help will work.
- Bills are bills. If I don’t like the cost, cut it off or find ways to decrease the bill.
- I can help my kids become better listeners through my actions.
- I can politely listen to other people’s whining and only offer help when asked for it. Or tune it out!
- I can only change the mediocrity within myself and kids (they are moldable) so I have to give this complaint up.
- Think about the things that you complain about and test their validity.
- Is it worth all of the attention you give it?
- Do you complain about it frequently but not take action to eliminate it or make it better?
- Can others finish your complaining sentences for you?
- Look at the situation differently.
- Replace the complaint with a positive thought.
- Find a solution to the issue.
- Speak to those who can correct/change the issue.
- What actions can you take today to complain less?
There are valid reasons to complain about something. We have to be mindful of those situations. Repeated complaints to someone who does not have the power to change the ‘it’ is the type of complaining we have to avoid.
If I cannot find a solution or offer helpful and constructive criticism on the concern, I may just keep my complaint to myself. I’m going to try really hard…let me know if you see me failing!
Written in Love,