Complaint Department…ME?

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

What when did this happen? Is it because this year I officially became a senior citizen? Does this mean I’m a Matriarch now?! (Said in superhero voice with hands on hips)

No, I really don’t think so…People younger and older than me, like my dad and kids, complain to me all the time. Very few are looking to me for advice. Mainly they just want me to listen and keep my mouth shut. Of course, unless it is  to agree with them!

I hear complaints all day long. They emanate from all around me. Wherever I go I hear voices of concern tinged with anger. Did you hear what he said! I can’t believe what that agency did! The sounds swirl from the grocery store chatter, in line at the bank, in the break room, and from that black framed rectangle in the living room. It seems complaining has become the national pastime.

Family finds fault, friends fume, and colleagues criticize. I work hard to empathize. The negativity chips at my demeanor. I try to listen but my heart hardens and my tongue wants to get sassy. By the way, that tongue gets me in more trouble than you can imagine.

Pretty soon, I find myself complaining along with the group. You know how the game goes: “Oh poor Milly me.” Then someone’s got to top it with another horrid tale. I call it “commiserating.” Then I feel justified. It feels like I helped. This is a lie to myself. I’m not helping, I’m perpetuating the grumbling. “Gasp! I’m a part of the problem!” screams the hippie child inside me.

If I look through my bible, especially the Old Testament, I find dire consequences when the people complained or grumbled against God. Including grumbling against the men chosen by God whether they be Church or community leaders. Uh Oh. That doesn’t look good for us.

I Corinthians 10:1-13 (I used the New International Version (NIV) for this blog post); warns Christians to learn from history. Verse 10 speaks directly to grumbling (aka complaining). It says:

And do not grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel.”

Photo by Omar Prestwich on Unsplash

Verse 11 goes on to state:

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us…

Whoa. That’s a big one. This passage warns us to learn from the example of others. It details the temptations that the ancestors to our Judaeo-Christian faith fell into. The list of temptations includes idolatry, sexual immorality, testing Christ (aka testing God), and then the list ends with grumbling. The passage ends in verse 13 with a promise:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

The promise to me tells me to keep my faith in God (my eye on my Star {smile}) and when I am tempted with a grumble rumble in my throat, he is faithful to provide a way out for me. I need to look for it.

Note: the King James Version (KJV) and the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) use the term “the destroyer” for “the destroying angel.” I find this interesting because complaining does not make me feel better in the long run. The destroyer is probably laughing in his evil way as he doesn’t have to do anything to destroy me. I do it to myself from the inside out. by grumbling

As I prayed for inspiration to tackle this subject I went to Bible Gateway (a great place to search the Word of God when I don’t know the exact passage. Now you know one of my secrets). The verse of the day was one of my favorites:

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4 NIV

Here’s what I thought when I read it: What a promise! That’s what I’m striving for, the desires of my heart. He knows what I want. What I need to change is my complaining tongue. The adventure hidden within this change is a good one! I get to take delight in the Lord!

May you delight in the Lord and have the desires of your heart,


P.S. Friend Shout Out: This post has been on my mind for several months. I mentioned it to a close friend recently. I told her I was struggling with whether or not I should even write it. When she asked why. I said I didn’t want to insult my friends and family (yes were back to the scarf! {Wink}). She said, quite forcefully I might add with a chuckle; “You need to write it! Don’t let what people think stop you!” Gotta love my friends that love me enough to light the fire.

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