How often I need to be reminded of this. Phil 2:14 No grumbling or complaining allowed! These two words can be translated many ways: murmuring, disputing, questioning, protest, argument, reasoning, dissension, grudging, or contentious spirit. Ouch!
I don’t want to be this person that is a grouch, grump, whiner, moaner, groaner, bellyacher, nitpicker, nag, objector, protestor, critical, etc…
My dictionary mentions the number one antonym of complaining is PRAISE!! I want to always spread joy and love and a smile to those around me. I want to be considered content and peaceful by those I meet. I want to find whatever is praiseworthy in a situation. (Phil 4:8) In fact if I put this list of “whatevers” in the forefront of my mind, I won’t be able to complain so much.
WHATEVER IS: True; Honest (honorable, noble, wins respect, worthy of reverence); Right/Just (upright, righteous); Pure (holy); Lovely (beautiful, amiable, loveable); of Good Report (gracious, valuable, good repute); of Virtue (excellent, worthy); Worthy of Praise (Honor). THINK ON THESE THINGS
This list is enough for me to work on without having time to complain or grumble!
So how to I deal with the crummy situations that I come across? When life is tough what can I say? When I’ve been hurt or offended, how do I handle that?
If it’s in Scripture that we can do all things without grumbling or complaining, then we must be able to do so. As with any sin, it is a choice we make to Obey or not to Obey Scripture. If I think of most of my conversations of this past week, how many times was I whining about how I felt physically, emotionally or spiritually?
I must learn to bite my tongue when these thoughts come up in my mind to complain about a situation or person. I must be discrete when I talk about situations with others so that it isn’t just griping. Sometimes I need to seek counsel about how to deal with a situation and then I may have to list things that are faults but there is a difference between that and complaining.
There are times when I, as a missionary, just don’t like things in the local culture, but I need not complain. I need to face them and learn to be content. How can I be ministering to a people that I’m always complaining about? How can my light shine when I’m covering it in my grumblings.
Recently I was around someone that constantly complained about people and about their physical illness and their situations. I found myself avoiding them after time because that attitude burned in my gut and made me sick in a way.
Be careful not to surround yourself with those that are whiners and critical all the time. Find friends that focus on the good and praiseworthy things.