Friday, January 11, 2013

Limit: One Complaint a Day

Not long ago I started noticing how much I complain. I don't yell at people, but I notice things and I say it out loud. "I'm starving!" "It's sure dark in here!" "Why do they have the music up so loud?" "My feet are so cold!" "Hey, lady, quit tailgating!" Stuff like that.

It got to be annoying, just listening to myself blather on about whatever I was feeling at the moment. And if it was annoying to me, what must it do to other people?

That's when I initiated the one-complaint-a-day rule. That's right, I allow myself just one complaint a day. It's a self-monitoring thing, and I often forget the rule all together. But I'm becoming more aware of my tendency to mutter about whatever, and I believe I'm making some strides.

But you know what really perturbs me? It's when I use up my complaint first thing in the morning. I get only one chance a day and I squander it early on!

Then I read Paul's admonition in Philippians 2:14-16 and see an entirely different approach to complaining: Do everything readily and cheerfully -- no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I'll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You'll be living proof that I didn't go to all this work for nothing (The Message). The Living Bible starts off this directive with, Do everything without complaining and arguing. That's pretty clear. If we do everything readily and cheerfully, not complaining, we're a breath of fresh air to people around us. Fresh air -- that's what I'd really rather have come out of my mouth.

1 comment:

Cami said...

So appreciate this post! I smiled and squirmed at the same time.