It’s easy to complain. All you’ve got to do is focus on what’s wrong with your life, with others, and with the world, then open your mouth. Trust me, I know. I’ve done my share of complaining.
Complaining is burdensome. It might feel like a relief while you’re doing it, but its impact on those around you is burdensome. You’ve probably been there. A child, spouse, or neighbor complains about dinner not being ready, a lack of attention, or rising gas prices. You nod your head or listen in silence, but inside, you’re soaking in what they’re saying, taking on some of the negativity that comes with complaining. It becomes a burden.
What do you do with that burden? Perhaps you hand it off to others in the form of your own complaints. Your complaint might be that so-and-so complained to you and now you’re in a sour mood.
Been there, done that.
So what are we to do about complaining? It’s human nature to want others to listen to us, to put value in what we say. But what if most of what we have to say is a complaint of some sort or another?
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know how I’ve learned to curb my complaining tendencies.
Since I can remember, teachers and leaders have taught me the importance of reading the scriptures. As a young adult, I decided to put what I learned as a child into practice and formed a habit of reading them. I always felt better after reading them, even if I did it just to complete my to-do list.
As I got older, I started to realize the importance of the scriptures. In them, I found examples and counsel about how others formed and exhibited faith to deal with life’s struggles. I learned how it is that God wants me to live. I began to relate them to my life and my challenges. I found that when I read the scriptures my thoughts were less negative and that I was less prone to complain.
In spite of the positive experiences I had with the scriptures, at one point in my life, I stopped reading them. In fact, I went for several years without even touching them. That all changed when I learned to let them touch me.
I don’t recall when or what it was that motivated me to pick up the scriptures again, but since I have, I feel less of a desire to complain. I’m still guilty of complaining on occasion. Like I said earlier, it’s easy to complain. But I feel the need to do it less. I attribute this to the scriptures, which move me to live closer to God, to be more accepting and patient with the things and situations that contribute to my complaining ways.
Making time for the scriptures every day is helping me to make the best of the time I have on this planet. As I’ve formed the habit of touching and searching the scriptures every day, they’ve touched me and helped me to search for better ways to handle life’s stresses.
They’ll do the same for you.
We’ll always have reason to complain. It’s part of being human. The world isn’t perfect and neither are we. Calming our souls by reading, searching, and thinking about the scriptures will help us find fewer reasons to complain.
So, when was the last time you touched the scriptures? When was the last time they touched you? The answers to these questions are central to your ability to complain less and focus more on the positives in life.