Complaining

So someone has said or done something that rubs you the wrong way. What should you do about it? Jesus offers us some really good counsel in Matthew 18:15-20 if it's a really serious matter. But what about all those other not-so-serious things that irritate us like a burr in our britches? What do we do then?

The Bible has a few things to say about the matter. Here is an example: "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only what is good for building others up, as it fits that occasion, so that it may give grace to all who hear" (Eph. 4:29). Here's another good one: "Do not grumble against one another so that you may not be judged; remember, the Judge is standing at the door" (James 5:9).

Here's what we can do to prevent ourselves from developing a "complaining spirit":

1] Ask yourself if what bothers you is a matter of personal preference. m I judging the actions of others over a matter of my own personal preference?  Statements like "I would do it differently" or "I don't like it when..." probably indicate this is a matter of personal preference.

2] Ask yourself what you can do to extend grace to that person. Am I choosing mercy over judgment? Jesus teaches us to be generous in grace toward others and less demanding of how we insist others change to suit us.

3] Are you speaking only for yourself? Am I trying to strengthen the legitimacy of my complaint by name dropping and pulling others in who agree with me? Each person needs to sort out their complaints with God, so we don't have any right to complain on behalf of others.

Maybe if we look within ourselves before voicing our complaint, we will eliminate the risk of developing a critical spirit and hurting others. There is a place for legitimate critique, but those types of criticisms are more readily received in a spirit of love and not from someone with a reputation of complaint.

Worth considering, isn't it?