I’ve come to the realization that I am a chronic complainer, and I think it’s a habit at this point. Have you ever noticed how it seems more socially acceptable to complain than to focus on good things? When we find people who look for the positive spin in a bad situation,  we have a tendency to roll our eyes and call that person naive. Meanwhile complaining is often a kind of an icebreaker for some reason. We complain about the weather, politics, our neighbors, our families, debt, the economy, our overbooked schedules…the list goes on and on!

We have a children’s CD in our car that we listen to quite often that I actually like. It’s called “Hide ‘Em in Your Heart” by Steve Green, and each song is a Bible verse. I need the lessons in the songs as much as my 4-year old does. One of the songs is Philippians 2:14, and I find myself feeling convicted when I hear that song. I try to teach my son not to complain, whine, or talk back to me when I make a request. But how often do I do that to God? He has given me far more than I ever deserved. It’s really appalling that I would ever think it appropriate to complain about anything in my life.

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”

Philippians 2: 14-16

Paul tells the Philippians to do ALL things without complaining. That is a tall order, but something I need to think about daily and check my mouth and my thoughts. Later in the epistle, he admonishes the Philippians to meditate on what is good and praiseworthy. Following that advice would make it a lot easier to stop complaining and start praising!

Think on good things

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 3:8-13

My current goal is to establish and maintain the habit of thinking on good things, and speaking words “always with grace” (Colossians 4:6). If you catch me complaining, please remind me of this goal!