Monday Morning Devotion-September 20, 2021
The Art of Not Complaining
Do everything without complaining so that no one can criticize you. Philippians 2:14
"We live in a world of incessant complainers." (Tony Dungy) Does that sound like too much of a negative start to this week's Monday Morning Devotion? When you bounce out of bed, grab that cup of coffee, and start reading is this something you don't want to hear? Complaining about complainers. Especially since you never fall into that category, right? Wrong. Sadly, we all do, at times, but no one wants to be labeled a constant complainer.
Because there are a lot of things, we come across that we could complain about then how do we avoid being a constant complainer? It is easy to fall into the role of complaining. How do we easily discover what we are doing?
There are a number of ways. Starting with paying attention to the tone of your voice. Is it normal or tending to be a little more high-pitched even bordering on being whiney? What is your intention? Are you wanting sympathy? Maybe you are trying to avoid taking responsibility. You will discover that there are two choices. You can come up with a solution or live with the situation. Complaining will not make you happy. (theadventuresofdostortas.com)
How can you stop this complaining mode that is so easy to slip into? Kansas City Minister Will Bowen designed a solution. It was a purple bracelet. He offered these to his congregation with a 21-day challenge for each parishioner.
The idea was that a person would put a purple bracelet on his/her wrist and wear it for 21-days before they slipped up and went back to day zero. Author Tim Ferriss got to 11 days then had to go back to zero. Then it took him until month #3 three to clear all 21 days. By the way when he wrote an article in 2011 about the purple bracelet procedure, more than 5,900,000 people had requested purple bracelets.
With that many requests it would seem that there would be a noticeable decrease of complaining in the world. Now, 10 years later, I haven't noticed a big decrease or in fact, any decrease at all in complaining: have you?
The point of all this is to focus our individual attention on how much complaining is going on and how much of it is coming from us. Then set about doing our part to make it a more positive, less negative world we live in. At least, in our own little world while hoping that will extend to others.
The apostle Paul, writing to the church at Philippi, pointed out that we would stand out if we didn't complain about everything like everyone else does. We would certainly be bright lights.
Winston Churchill said, "For me I am an optimist---it does not seem to be much use being anything else."
Your health can be affected by an excess of complaining. Katherine Eion, adjunct professor at Norfolk State University writes online: "Negative stress can exacerbate chronic health problems, such as diabetes or asthma. Other physical complaints may include increased headaches, joint pain, and depression. One way to combat these symptoms is through learning how to stop useless complaining."
Then she mentions seven ways to combat symptoms that lead to useless complaining:
1. Nourish a positive attitude: Changing the way you think is not easy but is possible. Try putting a positive spin on how you perceive a problem.
2. Learn to adapt: Nothing stays the same. Change is coming
3. Be more mindful: The past can't be changed and it's futile to worry about the future.
4. Be assertive: Don't complain but don't be a doormat either. Assertiveness tells others what your needs are.
5. Be less judgmental: Everyone makes mistakes. Don't judge yourself harshly either.
6. Be responsible: Own your mistakes but not the mistakes of others.
7. Keep moving forward: Refuse to allow life's obstacles to keep you
from moving onward.
These are just a few suggestions concerning ways to deal with complaining. It is certainly not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
If none of those work just type "how to stop complaining" into the internet. I found5 Steps, 6 steps, even 10 steps to assist people. I guess it could even become ludicrous at some point by taking the problem of complaining to extremes. Hey, I'm not complaining here. It's just that I think you can pray to the Lord for the self-control to handle the complaints you receive or hear and your tendency to complain in return. Then focus on each situation with a positive approach and let the Holy Spirit be your guide.
Prayer: Lord help us to discern when our thoughts tend toward complaining and guide us in a more positive way of thinking and acting. Amen!