Today Counts: Guidelines For A Meaningful Life

Day 4 of 7 • This day’s reading

Complaining Not Tolerated

When Paul wrote to the Philippians he dealt with the subject pointedly, saying, “Do everything without complaining or arguing”(Philippians 2:14). It’s a command, not a suggestion. What’s wrong with complaining?

First, the habit of complaining is highly contagious. The more you mutter and complain, the more others follow your negative attitude. Strange as it may seem, while a joyful, positive attitude is also contagious, it seems that negative attitudes transmit faster than positive ones.

Second, complaining is a reflection on the provision of God. If you believe that God provides for you and orders the circumstances of your life, then why spend your time criticizing everything that He sends your way?

Third, complaining bores people. They don’t want a daily recital of how bad you feel, or how poorly you slept, or how you think you are overworked or neglected. Grumbling and complaining all of the time reduces your credibility to zero minus. When an issue needs to be confronted, deal with it graciously, tactfully and in the spirit of confrontation, which Jesus said we should follow (Matthew 18:15).

Fourth, complaining is sin in the sight of God. Remember, Paul says, “Do everything [not just a few things] without murmuring and complaining.”

How do you break the habit when it has become so much a part of your life you don’t realize it is there? First, discipline yourself, determining not to grumble and complain. Next, focus on something positive. Attitude is everything. Count your blessings. Then confront issues that need to be addressed. And finally, ask God’s forgiveness for having allowed yourself to fall into the habit of complaining.