Do you know any constant complainers…you know, the kind of person who always has something to grumble about, making most any situation gloomy or depressing? In reality, its not too difficult to find something to complain about if you just go through a normal day, because things don’t usually play out how we plan or would like them to go. You get delayed leaving the house, the traffic is backed up because people don’t drive like you, an unexpected delay changes your lunch plans, etc. We have a lot that happens to us to make us thing that the world is against us on any given moment. It may make us feel better for a few minutes when someone asks us how our day is going and you reply “horrible, not how I wanted” to your spouse or a stranger, or you can just say ‘fine’ and grit your teeth. Either way, the issue is not really with what happens to you, but your reactions to them. When was the last time you complained to someone?
And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.” Exodous 16:8
My brother had a cat he named Grumbles, because every time it meowed or purred, It sounded like it was growling, even though its attitude was that of an easy going kitty. The opposite of a grumbler might be someone who says everything is going great all the time and seems to be immune from troubles, a Pollyanna of sorts. This person may get on your nerves as well, but may definitely be more pleasant to be around than a complainer. Most of us probably fall somewhere in the middle, where we tend to think things are either good or bad, depending on the situation, but can be guilty of either. The issue may be more related to the condition of the heart than the moment to moment circumstances we encounter that dictates our attitudes and what words we speak.
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45
When someone comes complaining to you, either in a work setting or from those you live with, what is your response? Do you respond to try to fix their situation and alleviate the complaints, or do you encourage them to do something about their situation? Maybe there is nothing either of you can do, like when someone gripes about the weather, but to be patient, because things like that will change. Do you ever pray with those who seem stuck in a difficult situation? Often God will give us the patience and persistence and change of perspective we need to get through tough times when we don’ have all the answers. Encouraging others may not stop the complaining, but it may give them a change of heart toward gratitude and that often changes us from the inside out.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Philippians 2:14
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Yours in Christ,