Another enemy of our soul is complaining and murmuring. It seems we can always find something to gripe about, and complaining must be second nature to some. I will never forget what my brother-in-law said to me when I got my first job. I just graduated from college and when school started, I didn’t have a job. But about a month into the school year, I was hired as a teacher. I was happy, or at least thought I was. But what did I do? Complain.
This job was at two schools that were 15+ miles apart. I taught at one all morning and ate lunch while I drove to the second school for the afternoon. My room was in the back of the library in both schools. In one I had a 15″ white board and a book shelf. I had no desk in either place, but had to use elementary tables and chairs. So I complained. That is until my brother-in-law reminded me that I should be happy to have a job. I had to agree and gained a different perspective of my situation.
The dictionary defines complaining as: to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault. It is also to tell about your pains, ailments, etc.
So why do we complain? Does it make things better? Does it make the problem go away? Of course, the answers are no. So why do we do it?
Complaining is the denial of responsibility. When I complained about my lack of proper equipment at my job, I failed to take responsibility to make the best of what I had or ask for something more.
Complaining is the act of dwelling on the negative. Instead of focusing on the joy of teaching, the opportunity to help my wonderful students who were put in my class because they were failing English, and the opportunity to get acquainted with fellow teachers, I dwelt on the negative and complained.
Complaining is addictive. Once we start complaining, we keep going until we realize how ugly it is and make a conscious effort to stop. People who get in the habit of complaining usually complain about everything. One of the hardest type of person to endure, at least for me, is a negative person. Nothing pleases this kind of person. It’s like a darkness overshadows every part of his or her life until there’s no sunshine to be found. How sad!
Selfishness & discontent are causes of complaining. When people think only of themselves, it is so easy to complain about things that don’t serve them. When we are discontent with our station in life or our situation, we need to find a solution rather than complain. When we realize that things cannot be changed, we also need to accept the fact that complaining does not help and avoid it. We are reminded of Paul’s words:
Do all things without murmurings and questionings: that ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world Philippians 2: 14-15