Sometimes life’s road can get a bit bumpy. The question is how do we respond? Are we grateful for what we have, or are we grumpy when it’s bumpy? By now you’ve probably guessed that this post is about grumbling and complaining, something I fall into way too easily. If you’re a Bible reader, you know that this is not a trait God favors. As a matter of fact, in the book of Numbers when Miriam (Moses’ sister) complained about Moses’ wife, Miriam ended up getting leprosy! (OK, God healed her after she repented but, nevertheless, I get the point!)
Recently, one of my friends was talking about the topic of grumbling, and she mentioned that people who complain can be really boring. “It’s a lot more fun to be positive and uplifting,” she said. Hmmm, that got me really thinking. Was she talking about me? Probably not, although I thought it was odd that she mentioned this just when I was contemplating it for myself. Even so, I would much rather be positive to others than the opposite. Although, sometimes I end up grumbling when I don’t really mean to. Honestly, I don’t know why sometimes I do just what I don’t want to do. (Remember the ridiculous argument I had with Rebecca as described in the post, “Marshmallow Impossible Force?”) Does anyone else relate to this?
I decided to investigate this grumbling issue a bit more, and here are some interesting points I uncovered about grumbling and complaining. First of all, a complaining attitude is contagious. When someone in a group complains (whether it be families, friends, business associates, etc.), it’s not long before others begin to complain too. You may have already noticed this. I have… and I admit that when I am with people who are complaining about something, it’s hard not to jump in on it, too.
I’ll give you a for instance. A long time friend of mine recently passed away. This person wasn’t the easiest to get along with. He could be very caustic to others (he was to me on numerous occasions). Often, some of my other friends complained about him behind his back. As soon as the complaints began, it wasn’t long before most everyone in the group was complaining about him. I did my best to stay out of the fray, but it wasn’t easy. I definitely wanted to chime in with all the nasty things I felt about him that I had been quiet about for so long.
After our friend suddenly passed away, many of the complainers regretted that they had not been kinder to him when he was alive. They were actually sorry they had focused on his negative and had not been grateful for the things that were likeable about our friend. I was glad that, for once, I had stayed out of the hot mess. But, it does illustrate my position that complaining, left unchecked, leads others to do the same.
Moving on, my next point is that complaining can be likened to ingratitude and envy. In this case, we may be complaining because we are not grateful for what we already have in life. So, we look around to see what others have and want that, too. Rebecca and I talked about envy and jealousy in our post, “Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side?” We pointed out that envying others can lead to a lot of dissatisfaction with life. I already know from past experience that this is not something I want to pursue. So, even during life’s tests, I make myself look to see something positive in it (no matter how small or how long I have to look). Sometimes, I even have to rely on Rebecca to find that positive aspect. She’s way better at this upbeat stuff than I am.
I‘ve discovered that there is a simple remedy to grumbling and complaining. I’ve already alluded to it in the previous paragraphs. The solution is to just be thankful. There you have it. No matter where we are in life, we will probably always want more. That’s OK, as long as we just are thankful along the way. I have a good example of this coming from, of all places, my sister Brynn, who recently told me she had decided to stop complaining about things and be thankful for everything. So she said that she goes around all day just saying thank you to God for everything. She says things like, “Thanks that I got up today. Thanks for my car…for my job….for my friends, etc.” You get the picture. She says thank you for everything rather than complaining. (I did notice she did not mention thanking God for her sister….namely, me!!! LOL!)
I also believe that blessings come out of gratitude rather than ingratitude. There are many instances in the Bible where God blesses those who are thankful. My sister, Brynn, did go on to say that since she has been saying thanks for everything, she has had more energy to accomplish all her tasks. Her overall well being has certainly improved. Here you have a reliable account of the truthfulness of my premise. I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to be blessed by God. Therefore, I am determined to keep my attitude in check and not let myself be a grumbler and complainer. And, so, like Brynn, I am practicing keeping thankfulness at the forefront of my mind. I count on this to open the door for more blessings to come into my life. I hope you will come along with me in this.
See you next time!
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