The Greek word translated “complainer” means literally “one who is discontented with his lot in life.”
Seriously. Stop complaining. Because first of all your blessings so far outweigh whatever it is your complaining about, and secondly because chances are good you actually CHOOSE this circumstance that you're now complaining about.
Using myself as an example:
Not only is complaining counter productive, but it trains your mind to focus on the negative which in turn teaches your mind and emotions that there must be no solution, which kills your joys, which then leads to feeling miserable, which is suffering, and the whole thing is avoidable.
Do all things without grumbling or questioning. (Philippians 2:14)
What if it's legit though...
As I'm writing this I'm thinking about a virtual friend who is currently in Africa picking up her newly adopted babies. I know, that's a whole story in itself, right?! So breeze past that for a moment please...
I'm addicted to following her IG stories about all their experiences not only as first time parents to babies, but adopting children, in a third world country, in Africa where it's a thousand degrees hot, where English is not the first language, and where diapers are 30 for $50. A few times in her stories she's alluded to complaining and in my head I was like, "YOU GET TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS, GIRL."
I mean, her situation makes the things I am complaining about so silly ("Whyyyy isn't there a Trader Joe's in Big Bear?! Ugh! I have to drive 45 MINUTES to a Trader Joe's; it's the worst.") Meanwhile, this woman is literally driving through mud and traffic you only understand if you've left the US just to get diapers.
Well, one of my FAVORITE things about following this friend I've never met is that she ALWAYS expresses the discomfort but then almost immediately counters herself with all the things she is SUPER thankful for! It's incredibly refreshing and makes her a magnet for others! She's uplifting, encouraging, and inspiring in her daily choice to revel in the joys and blessings of her life EVEN IN a really tough, uncomfortable time.
(Seriously, go follow her. I linked the image.)
What if you and I did that right now in this moment? Think about what you're uncomfortable with or unhappy about. Now put it in perspective with all the things that are WONDERFUL about your life.
I'm NOT saying it's not ok to acknowledge things that are uncomfortable or challenging. I'm saying don't get stuck in it; counter it with gratitude so that your joy can bring you back to balance.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
A Gratitude practice is the BEST antidote for this extremely first world problem. A gratitude practice can be done in many ways and always works wonders in your life. Here are a few ways to start you gratitude practice today:
Gratitude is a fundamental element of joy! I dare you to find someone who is joyful who isn't also grateful!
Your gratitude will wipe out your complaining faster than anything else possibly can. This is a key practice in the Joy Guide journey that I myself have come to ADORE. It's also a powerful tool in the battle to always speak well.
Start now! Catch yourself complaining! Start hearing how much everyone around us complains! Start noticing how incredibly good it feels to be around people who are grateful and don't complain! Let's be those people!
Giving thanks always and for everything. (Ephesians 5:20)
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