In Philippians 2:14, the apostle Paul spares no punches admonishing us to: “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” Part of me thinks, “not even a little, even when it’s justified?” The truth is that these words reveal my stubborn, hard headed nature. I usually put up a fight and am unwilling to do what is right based on God’s idea of living.
It is easy to develop an easy going, laissez-faire mentality when it comes to Christianity. Going to church for instance, should be more than just getting dressed up, looking good and “showing up.”A relationship with Christ is vital if we want to overcome the struggles we face within…one being complaining and grumbling. Click To Tweet
A relationship with Christ is vital if we want to overcome the struggles we face within…one being complaining and grumbling. Imagine for a moment, if we choose to live without grumbling or complaining. What would the world around us look like if no one complained? Long lines without the long faces maybe? Families getting along and overcoming life’s difficulties with a positive attitude? Imagine what the work environment without complaining would be like…really hard to picture ’cause at times it feels like that’s the default right?
To some degree, complaining makes us feel we are in control and can revel in the knowledge that someone is perhaps worse than we are. But we all know when we point one finger at others, the other three are pointing…um yeah.Complaining makes us feel we are in control and can revel in the knowledge that someone is perhaps worse than we are. Click To Tweet
Back to our verse – we are challenged to stop complaining. Would we be able to fast complaining for one week? Some time ago, our Pastor spoke on this subject and as we exited the auditorium, each family received a jar painted a mishmash of colors aptly called “the ugly jar.” For that week we were encouraged to put a dollar in the ugly jar each time we complained about something, with all the funds to be donated to a local charity. Every family was challenged to hold each other accountable…no way out of this one! Needless to say, I contributed my fair share but I wasn’t the only one. By Sunday, $11,000 had been collected from the ugly jars…at least in this case our complaining went to help someone.
But, how do we stop complaining?
1) More stuff does not equate with happiness.
The push for acquiring and wanting more does not bring the lasting satisfaction many wish for. Just look at Hollywood, the life of the rich and famous is many times filled with disappointment, hurt and disillusionment. Wanting to “be like the Jones'” will drive us to unhealthy behaviors and expectations. Like Paul, we need to learn the secret of being context in whatever state we are in.
2) Focus on all the blessings God has given us.
Are we healthy? Is our family healthy? Do we have a job in the midst of a tough economy? WE ARE BLESSED! Do we have friends who love us? Are we part of good church community? WE ARE BLESSED!
3) Remember the source of blessings and happiness.
To remember means “to retain in the memory; keep in mind; remain aware of.” We would do well to remember that the source of life, blessings and happiness is God. Things have temporary value, and even the closest people will only walk our life journey for a time. God can, because of His nature and love for us bring lasting fulfillment.
4) Replace the complaining with praising.
Easier said than done, you might think, but the reality is that this is God’s way. To defeat complaining and negative thinking, we have to systematically replace those thoughts with praising. Not only should we acknowledge what God has given us, but verbalize our thanks and praises to God for them. Gratitude always finds it’s best expression in praises.
So, when I’m tempted to grumble and complain, I consciously remind myself of all I have and all God has done and thank Him for them. This helps me maintain the right perspective. How about you?
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.