If you want to just put it out there, we can always find a reason to complain or belly ache about something. But, what do we really gain or benefit from complaining? In his podcast entitled, ‘Grumble, Grumble—Not’, Pastor Steven J. Cole wrote, “Complaining is probably one of the sins most tolerated by Christians. We tolerate it and perhaps don’t even think of it as sin because we’re all so prone to do it.”
Complaining is a like a double edged sword. Most of us need to vent out frustrations from time to time. We need to talk to loved ones about feelings, both positive and negative. We need to seek the opinions of those we trust when facing difficult choices or situations. And this can be positive, but it can also often involve sharing stories about problems. However, like Cole said above, sometimes that slips into excessive complaining or gossip—which leads to sin.
The literal meaning of the translated Greek word for “complainer” is “one who is discontented with his lot in life.” When we complain, we are saying that what the Lord has given us is simply not enough. Quiet as it’s kept, grumbling, mumbling and complaining comes from a root of bitterness and if not timely uprooted it will consume you like a forest fire and there is no escaping its engulfing flames!
In the spirit of transparency, in my line of work, I hear my share of complaints. Some are legitimate but most of them are infinitesimal in nature. So, it’s in my best interest to remain objective and brainstorm to find solutions as opposed to complaining about the situation which only increases the flames in the forest fire!
One way to break cycle of complaining is to shift from rumination to reflection. Although these two terms are similar, by definition there is a definitive distinction. Through reflection you can learn about yourself and what change you would wish to see from the situation. While rumination focuses on the problem, reflection finds the solutions.
I have heard it said, “If you can do something about it, why worry? If you can’t do anything about it, why complain?” Proverbs 21:9 says, “Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife” and I will be the first to admit this scripture interchangeably and undoubtedly applies to a nagging husband (#Facts)!!
Since it’s our own thoughts that perpetuate the cycle of negativity, we can also choose to break the cycle by changing the way we think. So, make the shift in perspective and choose to reflect instead of ruminate. Philippians 2:14-15 put it this way, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.”