1. I complain about the service at a store....the focus is on my disappointments with their service, my lack of happiness with them and their negative customer service.
2. I complain about my family....the focus is on my frustrations, unmet expectations and their bad behavior or failures
3. I complain about my church... the focus is on my wants, desires, lack of fulfillment and the church or the leadership's poor planning, lack of vision, their mistakes or failures
4. I complain about my job... the focus is on my expectations, my opinions, my expertise and the job's poor leadership, poor pay scale, lack of management, less that good work conditions
Let me ask you....What does this accomplish? Other than disunity I can't think of a lot. In every illustration complaining gets you nowhere...except maybe a little closer to complaining's good friends bitterness, gossip and meanness. It focuses the attention on ME...my needs, my opinions, my preferences, my wants, my desires, my issues, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME.
But when we refocus the spotlight and focus on the good that is happening all around us things look different....
Maybe look at your family through the eyes of a grandparent...they see the good, the beautiful, the important.
Maybe look at your local store through the eyes of a missionary...they see the enormous array of choices and conveniences....the 10 types of toilet paper, the many different snacks and chips and meats.
Maybe look at your church through the eyes of Jesus....He gave His life for this organism....this living, breathing picture of what HE is. Look at the work that is being accomplished and instead of picking it apart or complaining that it isn't what you think it should be, think about what you can do or be to help the church accomplish it's purpose.
Maybe instead of looking at your job as the means to a paycheck...be thankful for the blessing of having a job in this economy and look for ways to do your best always....in turn being a reflection of Jesus.
Is there a time and place for sharing your concerns....YES! But most of the time we don't take the proper course of action....which is to go to the one who can do something about it. Instead we talk amongst ourselves, give snide looks, say things under our breath or worse...we walk away with a bad attitude.
When we refocus the spotlight off complaining and onto praising we get our eyes off ourselves. We in essence die to what we want and focus on glorifying God in whatever He has us doing. Hard task? Yes, sometimes. Jesus gave us the ultimate example of doing hard things. Going to the cross wasn't easy just because He was Jesus. He still felt the pain, hurt, humiliation and distress....yet He knew God would be most glorified by His physical death....and so, He willingly laid down His life.
I wonder....If God's placed you (or me) in an uncomfortable situation at home, work, church, if He could catch me praising? Don't you know that brings Him glory? I'll be working on this today!