I’ve been around a certain young woman lately, who I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a positive word come out of her mouth. Every time I’m around her, she’s complaining about something. It could be anything– even stuff that has nothing to do with her. And it’s come to a point where I no longer look forward to being around her. I dread even having to be near her. Her constant complaining drains me.
But, you know, who am I to be talking? I’m this way sometimes. Some days, it seems like there’s nothing more than troubles and complaints in my heart. We all can be this way. And sometimes, we actually get excited over getting to chime in with other people’s complaints. Misery loves company.
We love to complain, to talk about our problems. It seems like so many of us have formed an addiction to talking about our troubles. We crave the attention from other people. We crave other’s sympathy. We feel as if everyone else needs to know how hard our life is and exactly everything we’re having to put up with, and we need others to give our poor souls pity for all our hardships.
And sometimes, it turns into a competition.
Oh, she’s going through that? Well, listen to what I have to put up with…
Complaining turns into a dangerous addiction, and here’s why:
The first reason is being a constant complainer makes you an extremely unpleasant person to be around. That sounds harsh, but think about this: who is the best, happiest, person you know? Who is the most pleasant person that lights up your day the moment you see them? Are they a complainer? Do they spread their sorrow, or their joy? My guess is that they spread joy instead of complaining.
We shouldn’t need to or want to share our sorrows. We should want to share our joys. Don’t we all want to be the girl that fills every room she enters with light and love? Don’t we all want to be the type of friend that has such a comforting and positive attitude, others are instantly at ease the moment they see us? I would love to be that girl. Everyone else on this Earth has enough of their own troubles without me going to them and complaining about all mine. They don’t need more sorrows compounded on top of theirs, they need happiness. That’s what this world needs from you: happiness, not bitterness.
Also, restraining yourself from constantly complaining shows others a glimpse of the joy of Christ. Even if people do know some of your trials- your constant joy will stand out to them. Your persistent contentment despite whatever you’re going through can be an example to others of how the presence of Christ in your life has changes you.
This addiction to complaining squashes your ability to spread the love, joy, and peace of God.
The second reason is constant complaining causes you to require others’ attention instead of God’s.
Talking about your problems can sometimes be an outlet, but instead of talking to people, you should be talking to God. When you complain to people, you’re subconsciously reaching out for help and comfort. You expect others to fulfill your need for sympathy, but people won’t always feel sorry for you. People sometimes won’t even care. And when they don’t give the sympathy we sometimes crave, our complaining becomes more persistent to even more people. And then you end up never finding peace or comfort.
You can find more comfort in Jesus than you can in anyone here on Earth, because Hebrews 4:15 says…
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”
Jesus has been exactly where we are. He’s walked this Earth as one of us. He knows how it feels to be hurt or rejected or ignored. Any pain we feel, He’s familiar with in probably a much deeper way.
That’s why He is the Comforter.
That’s why we can go to Him, instead of people, with our sorrows and trials. He’s able to sympathize with us much better than anyone on Earth can.
You have sympathy from the Son of God, Jesus Christ. You don’t need anyone else’s sympathy here.
That thought alone kind of helps me break my habit of complaining. I don’t need anyone else to know my problems, because God knows. And He can comfort me far better than any person can.
Complaining is a dangerous addiction that keeps us from spreading joy and from living in joy. Misery may love other people’s misery, but misery needs other people’s joy.