“I can’t believe I have to get these eight interviews whittled down to a 750-word article!” I complained…more than once…to my friend, my husband, my dogs! I even posted my whining (complete with photo of my copious notes) on Facebook.
But is complaining a little here and there, especially when it’s “good-natured complaining,” really such a bad thing? Does it really hurt anyone or anything?
Evidently Job didn’t think so. And, after all, if anyone had reason to complain it was Job! He had been stripped of his home, his precious children, his livestock…everything except his complaining wife! And so, finally Job had enough and said:
But while God may not have considered Job’s complaints to be curses against Him, He did later reprove Job for his whining. In Job 38:1 God answers Job’s litany of complaints with something akin to, “Who is talking about things he doesn’t know anything about?”
And later, after a similar rhetorical question, God asks this stripped-bare man, “Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?” In other words, God reminds Job that He is God and Job is not.
When we complain and whine, we, like Job, assume
- that we know better than God
- that we are being treated unfairly…by a just and merciful God, no less
- that we have not been blessed, but cursed
- that we do not have enough
- that we aren’t receiving what God promised
- that He has not been faithful
- that we are somehow owed better, more
- Begin the day with a grateful spirit. Spend time praising God and counting my blessings at the top of the morning.
- Look for opportunities to give thanks when my default would normally be to murmur or complain.
- Ask the Lord to build a new spirit of thankfulness in me, uprooting the spirit of ingratitude.
- Examine the areas in which I normally complain (for me that’s my work, my dogs, my family, my finances) and conscientiously, proactively bathe those areas of my life in thankfulness instead.
- Seek accountability. I’m confessing this sin to a couple of people in my life (well, and all of you, of course!) and asking them to correct me when I begin to whine.