Do you find yourself complaining?
Do you ever find yourself complaining about things and can’t seem to stop?
I found myself complaining as of recently, and I realized how unattractive it made me.
I wanted to know why I felt the need to complain so much, and where the complaining was stemming from.
I was complaining because I was being ungrateful and unappreciative of everything and everyone I had in my life.
So I needed to figure out why I was complaining and how to fix it, RIGHT AWAY.
Why Do We Complain?
I think as humans, we almost use complaining as a way to converse.
I’ve found in my personal life, I’m more apt to tell someone about what is WRONG in my life, as opposed to what is RIGHT and GOOD in my life.
It’s almost a slight sympathy and relatability we seek after subconsciously.
Do you know what I’m talking about?
Think about your last conversation with a friend or family member.
What was the first thing you guys discussed?
Was it anything other than the negativity of life or how this isn’t going right in life or that went wrong?
Ask yourself, why did you discuss that instead of something positive about your life?
WE ALL DO IT.
Here’s when I realized the capacity by which I had begun complaining.
How I Figured Out Complaining was a Problem
I was in a crappy mood one day.
I felt low and borderline depressed.
I didn’t understand why I just knew I felt sad and not motivated to look at the positive part of life.
My husband approached the bed (where I was lying because WOE IS ME), and he ever so gently asked why I thought I was feeling the way I was feeling.
Sometimes, I just don’t know why, and that’s what I told him, “I don’t know. I just do.”
He mentioned something that I think the Lord had been working on with me for a few weeks now.
He said, “I think you’re feeling this way because you’re being ungrateful, and you’re not appreciating what you have and who you have right now.”
Do you know how fast I wanted to snap back?
“No, I’m not! I’m just sad. Not ungrateful. You’re so rude!” is what I wanted to say.
But instead, I just sat there and let it sink in… while I MAYBE glared at him.
And I left it at that.
I had nothing to say.
He was right. I was being ungrateful and not appreciating my present situation of goodness.
What Does the Bible Say About Complaining
I’d been going through a study before this encounter with my husband about how to be a wife.
When he was correcting me, I was thinking about that study.
In one part of the study, this verse was noted;
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
I knew at that moment, that my complaining wasn’t giving Him thanks.
My ungratefulness was taking His grace and His blessings for granted.
Ooooo the conviction was at an all-time high… that’s why I needed to be quiet.
A little further on in this study, there was mention of “self-pity”… Do you know what self-pity is?
Here’s the definition that I found;
Self-pity: excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness over one’s troubles.
Do you know how low and humbled I felt after reading that definition?
I was sitting in my own “troubles”, while I disregarded others and what they’re facing.
I was reminded of all of the horrible things that others were facing, and I was complaining about things that had no ACTUAL purpose.
It was hot. I was sad. I was depressed. I was down. There were too many flies because we live near a chicken farm. I was always home… BLAH. BLAH. BLAH.
Not that my feelings didn’t matter, but I was being a DEBBIE DOWNER for no MAJOR reason.
I noticed that the way I was feeling and acting wasn’t only affecting myself, but it was also affecting other people.
How Does Complaining Affect Other People?
First off, any time I would have a conversation with any of my family members who live in California, I would complain to them.
Sometimes it would be gossip about someone, other times I’d complain of my discomforts or dislikes of where I’m living.
Then I’d complain about household chores, and other unnecessary things.
In the study I mentioned before, I was hit with the reality that being a homemaker is a spiritual responsibility and that I was called to take on this role.
I started noticing that every phone call I was having, contained more complaints than it had positive words and excitement in them.
The people on the other line were starting to complain more too.
They were starting to look at things in a more negative light, and our conversations weren’t edifying in the least bit.
Not only were family and friends on the phone becoming more of a Debbie Downer as well, but my husband started complaining because of how I was acting.
He would complain about my complaining. We’d get into arguments about how much I complain.
It was all the way around NOT GOOD FOR ANYONE.
With so much negativity, it was hard to figure out how to start living in a more positive and complain-less mindset.
Here’s what I realized I had to do to stop complaining.
How to Stop Complaining
- Look out for the people around you.
- The people closest to you can be your barometer of where your complaining is. If you see that those around you are in a bad mood, check yourself to find out if you’re a part of that issue. Esteem their well being as higher than your own.
- Take inventory of what you have, who you’re surrounded with and where you’re at in life
- When we take a look around, we start to see how much God has blessed us with. We see that everything and everyone we have are gifts to us. Show some appreciation and gratitude for even the smallest of things. Do you have a washing machine? THANK GOD! Do you have a car? THANK GOD! Do you have a family who loves you? WHOO HOO!! So many things are taken for granted. Writing in a gratitude journal like this can be helpful (or just in a simple one like this one) in visualizing what and who we have right now.
- Accept that God’s grace is sufficient for you.
- If we grasped the truth that God loved each of us so unconditionally, that He sent Jesus to die and rise again, JUST to close the gap that sin created between us and Him, we’d see that that’s enough for us to live free of complaining. When it comes down to it, that should be the greatest reason we aren’t filled with complaining. Jesus died so we didn’t have to, and He gave us the promise of heaven with Him forever if we just accept it. A free gift of salvation. That should stop us right in our complaining tracks.
Here are some Bible verses that I think we can all ponder and meditate on after reading and hopefully evaluating our hearts when it comes to complaining.
- PHILIPPIANS 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
- PHILIPPIANS 2:14 Do all things without complaining and disputing
- EPHESIANS 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
- 1 PETER 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling
- EXODUS 16:8 Also Moses said, “This shall be seen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the LORD hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the LORD.”
- ISAIAH 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
- JAMES 5:9 Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!
You can read my other blog post about Gratitude.