Friday, September 4, 2015

complaining

Today's readings: Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12, 2 Cor 6:14-7:7, Psalm 47:1-9, Prov 22:16

"Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind... Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have," says Solomon. And he gives us some really good advice here.

The Bible says it even more clearly in other places. "Do all things without griping or complaining," it says in Philippians 2:14. Why is this important? There are many reasons.

When we complain, we rob ourselves of the joy of the moment. God has given us the moments of our lives as a gift. Sometimes, the present moment isn't too pleasant. There are times when things are bad in our lives, and I'm not saying it's God's will when someone is raped or abused. There is some bad thinking out there about this. Such as "God will never give you more than you can handle." Or "If things are hard, take a deep breath and realize that this is God's will for you." These sayings are nonsense. Bad things happen to us. People hurt each other. The Bible never says that nothing bad will happen to you or that God will keep you from ever being hurt. But it DOES say that God will work everything in your life for good. And He will.

But complaining just makes things worse. When things are good in our lives, complaining makes it seem bad. When things are bad in our lives, complaining makes it seem worse. Complaining doesn't help, just like self-pitying doesn't help. When we are in a bad place, the best thing to do is find a way to improve things. And one of the best ways to do that is to pray and ask God to help us make it better. He's good at that.

Complaining also makes life worse for everyone around us. If you go to work in a good mood, ready for a good day, and as soon as you get there your coworker starts whining about how slow the day is going and how tired they are and how much they have to do and how unpleasant everyone is... you immediately absorb their negativity and feel the same dismal way.

But if your coworker comes to work and you tell them how great the day is going and how much the team has gotten done today and how fast the day is going by and how much you're enjoying your project... that enthusiasm is also contagious. We can really influence each other's moods and make the same circumstances really great or really terrible, just based on the way we look at it.

So next time you think about complaining, take a breath, realize that there is so much in your life to be grateful for, and share the good with your friend. It might make a world of difference.

Thanks, God, for giving us things to be thankful for, every day.

1 comment:

julie reedy said...

Yes it does. In some circles it's called PMA, positive mental attitude. However, that does not fulfill the total goal from God, it helps but the relationship between us and God plus PMA makes for a much better life.