Complaining will be your ruin. It’s self-defeating, and I know, because I’ve been there.
I have complained about everything: my head hurts, a family member annoyed me, it’s too hot outside, it’s raining outside, working-out made me sore, church dragged on an extra fifteen minutes…the list goes on.
If this sounds familiar, keep reading…
I have never observed successful people griping about the weather, or a meeting they begrudge, or the fact that it’s a Monday.
Because they suck it up.
Why do we do it? Some complainers want to turn all of the focus onto themselves while others are trying to fill the silence with empty chatting, or “making conversation”. Maybe everyone else is complaining, too, so we find out it comes naturally.
If you are a repeat offender, stop now.
The following are the main reasons why complaining is self-defeating:
- Gratitude ceases. Nothing will ever satisfy you if you can find a flaw in even the most gracious gestures and gifts. Life will never be perfect or comfortable enough to quench your needs.
- You will think of yourself as life’s central victim. You play the central role in your own drama and are victimized by your circumstances and those around you. This is defeating because the circumstances might not even be personal. Also, your life isn’t really even about you, it’s about what God is going to do through you. It’s about completing God’s plan, and complaining hinders that.
- It isolates you from the suffering of others. We are called to acknowledge and alleviate the suffering of others. Self-pity and self-focus is quite the opposite.
- You aren’t resolving the issue. Do you find yourself wishing conditions were better but not working towards their betterment? It’s time to turn your energy elsewhere.
- You may even begin to feel entitled and self-important. Um, not attractive.
So, how do we stop complaining?
Cut off the conversation or initiate a change in subject when complaining begins (this strategy is also effective with trying to end gossiping).
Remember that your suffering is minimal to what others are enduring across the globe. You might complain about your job, but you are earning a living. You might complain about a family member, but that family member is alive and you get to love them. You might complain about where you live, but you have a home. Somewhere, someone else is suffering far more gravely than you.
While we are special to God, our suffering is not unique to us. Everything you are experiencing or have experienced, someone else has, too…perhaps without complaining in the least.
Lastly, meditate on the fact that our suffering can bring souls to heaven through redemptive suffering.
Dear Jesus, please be with me through my day. Allow me to focus on the positives in my life and help me avoid thinking only of my own suffering and inconveniences. Allow me to be grateful for what I have and to recognize that every good gift comes from You. Help me to recognize the suffering of other people – especially those closest to me. Amen.