Complainers Need Not Apply

16 May

Have you noticed how easy it is to complain about things?  Sometimes a complaint is formed on my lips almost before my mind realizes it’s about to be said.  While there are times when it may be necessary to voice (or think) a complaint, I’m learning that complaining about something rarely serves a useful purpose.

photo source

Sometimes the things I complain about the most are the small things – the seemingly insignificant things.  But I think those small complaints, when said over time, eventually turn into a bigger issue within my heart that surrounds me with negativity and leads me to have a bitter outlook on life.

I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do. – Joe Walsh

Have you spent much time around someone who complains a lot?  It’s not fun, is it?  Do you want to become that person who complains a lot?  I didn’t think so.  Neither do I.

There’s really only one way to avoid becoming that person: choose gratitude instead.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. – I Chronicles 16:34

For everything in my life that I could complain about, I can also find something to be grateful for:

  • I have cancer, but I’m grateful it was discovered and there are treatments to help keep it under control.
  • I have to deal with two years of maintenance chemotherapy treatments, but I’m grateful there is medicine that I can take for two years as a maintenance treatment with minimal side effects.
  • I don’t want to exercise, but I’m grateful that my body is not limited by a disability so that I am able to exercise.
  • I didn’t want to have a stinking root canal, but I’m grateful for the doctor who did it for me with so little pain and discomfort.
  • I’m sick of hearing all the political rhetoric, but I’m grateful to live in a democracy where I have the privilege to vote.
  • The price of gas is too high, but I’m grateful I have a car to drive.

And on and on I could go.  Does any of that sound familiar?  Are there things in your life for which you could turn the tables and intentionally look for something positive instead of focusing on the negative?

  • When your morning commute is delayed by a traffic accident, be grateful that it’s not you who was in a wreck.
  • When a friend unintentionally hurts your feelings, be grateful you have a friend and offer them a little grace.
  • When your teenage son or daughter won’t listen to you, be grateful the teenage years don’t last forever.  {grin}
  • When your home improvement project hits a frustrating snag, be grateful you have the funds to improve your home.
  • When there’s nothing good to watch on TV, be grateful for the time and go read a book instead.
  • When you are forced to wait at the doctor’s office, be grateful you have a doctor who cares enough to spend extra time with patients when they need it.

A lot of these things don’t seem like big deals, do they?  But they tend to be what we complain about the most.  And it’s those little, negative thoughts we repeatedly verbalize that turn into a clouds of bitterness and take root in our hearts.

Try this, just for today.  When you are tempted to complain about something, pause for a second and try – just try – to think of something positive about the situation.  You might surprise yourself by 1) recognizing how often you are complaining and 2) also recognizing how much good there already is in your life.

“May God not find complaints in us anymore, but spiritual vitality—a readiness to face anything He brings our way.” – Oswald Chambers

Here’s to a complaint-free day!
♥ Rachel

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15 Responses to “Complainers Need Not Apply”

  1. Becky Robinson May 16, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    Thanks Rachel!! I needed that. I’m thankful for you and your “Blessings in Disguise” site for getting me started on the right foot every morning. I love you very much.

    • rachturner May 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      Hi Becky! I’m thankful for you reading this silly little blog every day. Love you.

  2. Cancer Warrior May 16, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    Love, Love, Love this post! This morning, as stepped out into the bright sunny morning to go for my run I said aloud: “Thank you God for this beautiful day, and for this strong and healthy body that is able to run!” I agree Rachel, we can gripe all day, or we can give thanks.
    http://www.perksofcancer.com

    • rachturner May 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

      Flo – You are exactly the person I am talking about. You have good reason to gripe and complain, YET you are not doing that. Instead you are grateful to be strong as you head out for your run. You inspire me!!

  3. Tranquil Moments Photography May 16, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    One of the best blogs I have read in awhile. Good attitude and wise words to live by Rachel. Have a wonderful Wednesday!! :)

  4. Cara Olsen May 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    It’s almost startling to realize the depths to which I’ll go to complain . . . somedays I think I might even be looking for fault! Thank you, Rachel, for the reminder that complaints are useless scourges.

    Have a blessed day!

    • rachturner May 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      Um, Cara, you are not alone! I know I go searching for fault at times, and I’m pretty much guaranteed to find it. No one’s ever used the word “scourges” in a comment before – you’re the first! :)

      • Cara Olsen May 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

        LOL! Really? Well, then I may end this day with pride, knowing I experienced a first with you. :)

  5. jksmith032460 May 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    “Taste your words before you spit them out” is a saying that I really like but it is hard to do all the time. Thanks for the reminder. Love, Jenn

    • rachturner May 17, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

      Oooohhh, that’s good – I like that! Love you, Jenn.

      • jksmith032460 May 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

        It is especially good for me because I tend to spit my complaints out rather than just stating them.

      • rachturner May 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

        J – So that’s where I get it from! :)

  6. jimmmyjams May 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    I’m so glad to see that I’m not the only one trying to be aware of his own complaining. So, I created this little video on the topic. Thank you for your precious perspective! :)

    http://jimmmyjams.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/life-is-terrible-these-days/

    Jim

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