“What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.”
― Maya Angelou, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now
“Never tell your problems to anyone...20% don't care, and the other 80% are glad you have them.”
― Lou Holtz
Complaining is defined as expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance about something.
As I reflect on my days, I realize that I can go through the day complaining on autopilot. Nothing is ever good enough or right.
I find that once I get in that funk, it can be hard to get out.
Do you ever feel like that?
Complaining creates such a negative environment. It might feel good for a moment to vent, but to those receiving it or just having to hear it, it is an energy vampire. Everything irritates me, and nothing makes me happy, and then I can start blaming everyone when in reality, the only person to blame is myself.
“Man, it is hot in here. Can we turn down the air?”
“Can you believe gas prices? They get higher and higher every day. It is unbelievable what is happening.”
Traffic was so bad, that is why I am late.
My husband never does anything right.
My kids are so lazy. All they do is play video games.
My boss doesn’t know what is going on.
My wife is so loud.
I have no clothes to wear.
Why are we doing that?
Is this all that we are having for dinner?
Mary Mitchner shares her insights and those of Dr. Caroline Leaf:
Scientists have finally proven what scripture has told us all along. We are wired for love. When we think negatively, it goes against the normal processes of the brain. Our hormones get out of whack, and we start to create negative thought pathways in the brain. The longer we stay in that negative pattern the more hardwired those thought patterns become.
Here is the good news. We can change our brains. Dr. Caroline Leaf, in her new book Switch on Your Brain (2013), describes the latest research on the brain and then teaches us how to rewire our own brains. She states that negative thinking can make us feel foggy, confused, negative, and even depressed (pg 86).
Dr. Leaf also states that one of the best things we can do for our brain is to enter a state of rest-a Sabbath for the brain. When we enter a this intellectual state, we are focused and introspective, which allows our brains to engage in rest. She states that we aren’t actually resting; we are in an intelligent, self-reflective, directed state (pg 82). The best part is the more we go there the more we get in touch with the deeply spiritual part of who we are. She goes on to say, and I agree, that God has created this state to directly connect with him and practice an awareness of His presence.
This is so cool. God designed us in such a way that when we tune out the outside world and focus inward we increase our intelligence, strengthen our memory and decrease the negative effects of our negative thinking. We have the power to control our brain and our thought life to stop the negative thinking and focus on what scripture tells us.
Here are just a few verses that scripture has to say about our words:
Do everything without complaining and arguing so that no one can criticize you.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8. NIV
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. NIV
When you want to complain this week, stop and show appreciation or gratitude to the person or situation. If someone cuts you off in traffic, bless them instead of getting mad and complaining.
Just try it. I believe you will see your atmosphere change, you will be happier, and life will seem easier.
Choose one of the above verses or another verse that helps you memorize your words. Then, write the verse everywhere as a reminder.
I am going to work on Philippians 4:19.
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.
Let’s pray this over ourselves:
Thank you that you speak words of encouragement over me!
Forgive me for the times I have griped, complained, and argued with others. I repent and want to begin to speak words of encouragement no matter what I am saying. I ask that you would heal those who have been hurt by my words. Holy Spirit, I ask that your words rise up in me, reminding me to do all things without complaining and arguing every time I start to complain. I want my words to be Your Words and for my words to bring healing and encouragement to those I talk to and interact with.
Thank you that you never complain about me but love me unconditionally.
I love you.
In Jesus' Name - Amen!
What verse did you choose to focus on this week?
Write that verse out.
What are some things you observe about what the verse is saying?
What can you do to apply this verse to your life?