Freedom From Complaining

“Grandma, how come you never complain?”

I asked this question as a teenager. Even then I excelled at finding fault with the world around me and was amazed by my cheerful grandmother. I had watched her care for my grandfather, an invalid confined to a wheelchair. She pushed him or lifted him wherever he needed to go, always maintaining her positive, peaceful demeanor.

“If complaining did any good, I might try it,” she explained, “but since it doesn’t, why bother?”

Unlike my grandmother, I believed for many years that complaining could accomplish something. My habit was to pour out my heart full of woes to anyone who would listen. I saw grumbling as a release, like tears or laughter. If I could just get it out of my system, then I’d feel better.

But I’ve discovered as I’ve sought the Lord about the subject of complaining that it’s like scratching a bothersome itch. The more I do it, the worse I feel. Psalm 77:3 describes it this way: 

“I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.” KJV

How easy it is to fall back into the habit of grumbling about difficult circumstances in my life. When I do, I’m robbed of the peace God longs for me to experience.

At the base of complaining is an attitude of Surely I deserve better than this. But according to the Word, He has given me much more than I deserve. When I focus on the wonder of God’s grace, I’m able to see how much I have to thank Him for, especially that He loves me.

The less I whine about the negative aspects of my life, the more clearly I see the positives, which I tend to take for granted.

If I feel I must complain, I can take my complaints to God. He does not feel overburdened when I moan to Him as my friends and family can. When I’m feeling down, I can go to Him to pour out my heart. I can count on my Lord to listen objectively—and then to open my eyes to see “my world” from His perspective. He brings my past into focus as I recall the many times He has worked His best when my life was at its worst.

These days as I’m asking God how to fully receive His peace, He is showing me how letting positive words come out of my mouth is a vital key.

I’m praying for grace to live out Philippians 2:14-16.

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…” NIV

Complaining brings about a certain kind of death in my spirit and in the spirit of those around me. It works to kill my passion for God, my purpose in God, and my perspective from God. Groaning sets up a dam to stop the flow of peace.

Instead of having a “Life—isn’t it terrible?” attitude, my goal is to more and more hold out to others the word of life. This centers on speaking about Jesus and the truths He brings.

As God continues to free me, I’m hoping someday my granddaughter will ask,

“Grandma, how come you never complain?”

How about you? Do you sometimes find yourself ejecting complaint after complaint about the circumstances in your life? Try taking those complaints to God and leaving them there as He gives you His perspective which can transform complaints into contentment.

About elainecreasman

I am a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. Since 1986 I have led the Suncoast Christian Writers Group.
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3 Responses to Freedom From Complaining

  1. Dan Kress says:

    From Philippians 4
    ” 8 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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

    Focusing on your blessings will profoundly alter your attitude!

  2. Julie says:

    Thanks for the teaching I needed to hear.

  3. Mary says:

    Claiming Romans 8:28 over all things in my life, the good and the bad, has helped me to see God at work in all things and little by little has stopped me from complaining when something unpleasant happens in my life. Now I wait with anticipation on the good God will work out of the circumstance if I trust Him with everything and just keep praising Him and loving Him. His peace truly is amazing and beyond all understanding. Thank you for your inspirational message, Elaine. I am a grandmother too who hopes my grandson notices His spirit living in me.

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