If I challenged you to cut out complaining and arguing from your life for an entire week, could you do it? What about for a month? Now we are getting a little difficult. What if I challenged you to stop complaining and arguing for the rest of your life? Wait! Don’t stop reading this blog! I’m serious. Let’s just take a look at the possibilities here. The apostle Paul actually wrote to the Philippians that they should do “everything without complaining, grumbling or arguing.”
Now perhaps you are thinking, Aren’t there times when we need to stand up for ourselves? Surely God doesn’t intend for us to never talk about our difficulties. Yes, there is a time and a place for wisely and respectfully sharing our concerns, but the bigger issue we need to consider is how do we handle life when it doesn’t go our way. Here’s what Paul wrote:
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life. Philippians 2:14- 15.
Paul is encouraging us to shed some bad habits, so that we may shine Christ’s light more brightly in this dark world. Often complaining and grumbling are born out of pride, anger or a lack of faith. We think we know what is best and when things don’t go as planned, we tend to get our feathers ruffled. Sometimes issues of unforgiveness or bitterness are lingering in our heart, causing us to complain and argue.
Is it really possible to live without grumbling? To be honest, we all have a tendency to grumble and complain – it is our basic human nature. But God can do a mighty work in our lives through the power of His spirit within us. He can transform our grumbly heart into a grateful one. Here are three ideas to put into practice the next time you feel a need to complain.
- Turn your eyes upward and thank the Lord for the good things He is doing. One of the greatest antidotes to complaining and whining is to take our focus off of the frustration and look instead at our blessings. As we sincerely thank Him for the ways He has worked in our lives, then we also begin to realize God can take care of our present situation. We don’t need to be spouting off about every problem that comes our way.
- Pray for guidance. Anytime we are about to grumble, we must ask ourselves a simple question, “Have I prayed about this?” As we seek God’s wisdom on how to handle the situation, we can ask Him to help us grow through it as well. Prayer allows our worries to dwindle. When we bring our challenges to God first, then we do not give worry an opportunity to set in. Like logs to a fire, worry and anxiety fuel complaining and whining. Faith says, “I will trust God’s unfailing love through this challenge.”
- Take positive action. There are times when we do need to present our point of view or our concern, but we can do it without grumbling or whining. Instead we can wisely, patiently and kindly present our thoughts or perspective to the right person. Let’s be willing to be a part of the solution, and look for what we can do rather than focusing on what we can’t do.
Every opportunity to complain is actually an opportunity to grow in our faith and trust in the Lord. Ultimately, when we truly believe God loves us and has a good purpose for our lives, then grumbling, whining and bickering tend to dissipate. May we be bright shining lights as we show an unbelieving world that we trust a big God.
This is an excerpt from my book, A Woman’s Passionate Pursuit of God. Click the link below for more information about the book and DVD based on Philippians. https://positivewomanconnection.com/books/#biblestudy