by Rev. James
“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” ~Phil 2:14-15 (NLT).
It is so easy to do things with complaining and arguing when we have over scheduled ourselves. Working in an over demanding environment affects our mood and sets our heart burning with anger. When our efforts are not appreciated and the results are not forth coming, we become depressed and angry with people. Under such circumstances there is no reason why we will not complain.
When we are overcome with the attitude of complaining, we will do things grudgingly and reluctantly. The feeling of sadness or grief grip us. We feel that we are forced to do things and we do them unwillingly and out of sorrow. We end up having many sob stories to tell.
The Bible teaches that there are many good things and spiritual things that we can do with the wrong spirit of complaining. Our hospitality can be done with complaints (1 Pet 4:9 TEV). Our offerings can be given grudgingly (2 Cor 9:7) and we can have a lot of complaints about our relationships with others (James 5:9). Here are a few steps that can help us to avoid a complaining attitude.
1. Identify the root cause of complaint. Are we having too much on our plate? Prioritize and do the important things. This will also define what we don’t do. We need to be focused and strategic. When we have too much to do or when we feel that we are treated unfairly we will complain. Identify the root cause and nip it in the bud otherwise we may wind up doing good works with the wrong attitude.
2. Doing more than expected. This is a Christian virtue of humility and sacrifice founded on the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. You alone know how much you can carry. The cross I carry is different from the cross you carry. Don’t live a life conditioned by the expectations of others and get frustrated about it, but you must be able to be accountable to those you are responsible to and to the Lord.
3. Choose a better attitude. Our circumstances may be unfavorable but God has given us the power of choice to choose the attitude we want. Avoid complaining and “serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men” (Eph 6:7). We worship God through our work. Our work is a test of our heart of worship. Let not complaining defiled our hearts. So, let us deal with our complaining attitude objectively and “shine like bright lights” (Phil 2:15).