Complaining is negative, unproductive and habit forming

.

Faith & Reflection

When things go wrong, how do you respond? By complaining? A natural reaction for all of us, at least occasionally. I’ve never liked complaining (my own or that of others) but like everyone, I do it from time to time. Warning! Everyone who complains regularly becomes proficient at it. Perhaps we can learn from the example of the man in the following anecdote.

A cowboy was travelling down a dirt road with his dog in the back of the truck and his horse in a trailer behind. He failed to negotiate a curve and had a terrible accident. A highway patrolman discovered the accident and stopped to help. He saw the horse first. It was seriously injured, so he drew his service revolver and put the animal out of his misery. He walked past the trailer and found the dog, also hurt critically and whimpering in pain. He ended the dog’s suffering as well. Next he found the cowboy fl at on his back in the ditch. He had multiple fractures and was unable to move. The officer came nearer and asked, “Are you okay?” The cowboy took one look at the smoking revolver in his hand and quickly replied, “Never felt better!”

Complaining is negative, unproductive and habit forming. Negative, because it is based upon a non-acceptance of our circumstances. Complaining clearly indicates that circumstances have got the best of us. It is a verbal admission of personal defeat.

Complaining reveals an unthankful, disobedient, perhaps even bitter attitude. The Israelites consistently complained during their wilderness wanderings. Psalm 106:25 says, “They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD.” Complaining is unproductive because not only doesn’t it change anything, but it takes up precious time and energy that could be employed in problem solving.

The practice of complaining is habit forming. It focuses on self and this is one of humanities fundamental and perennial problems. Over the course of time those who make grumbling a way of life will see friends and acquaintances begin to withdraw. The weightiness of having to listen to a practiced whiner is too much for even a good friend to bear.

There is good news though… complaining has a simple, immediate and 100% effective cure. It is being thankful! Complaining, bitterness, whining and grumbling cannot coexist where there is joy and the giving of thanks. One of them will have to go! I occasionally tell people, “Read 2 Psalms and call me in the morning”. They tell me it works!

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

— Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Erskine Evangelical Free Church

Just Posted

A Red Deer woman dies in a crash east of Stettler

Police continue to investigate collision

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Stettler provincial court briefs

Trial doesn’t proceed as scheduled after ‘miscommunication’ with legal aid

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Canada to boost support for riskier forms of renewable energy: minister

A $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project hopes to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy

WATCH: Grey Cup was in Red Deer to support military families

Money raised will go towards the Military Family Resource Centre

Browns beat streak, win first NFL game in 635 days

Baker Mayfield erased any doubts about why the Browns selected him with the No. 1 overall pick

New silver collector coin features Indigenous dancer

New silver collectors coin captures fast-paced energy of an Indigenous powwow

Off Nova Scotia, a bid to ‘unravel the mystery’ of great white sharks

The question: Is Nova Scotia the second mating site for Atlantic white sharks, something scientists say could be key to protecting the endangered species.

Most Read