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Why Complain?

Are you like me? When you have a big problem do you complain? The bigger the problem the more I seem to obsess over it. It takes me so long to realize that there is no gain when you complain!

I caught myself stuck in a complaining mode the other day. The problem wasn’ta new problem; it had been around a while with no improvement. I found myselfin the familiar cycle of complaining obsessively in my head, outwardly to myhusband, and every once in a while I even let the problem slip into a conversationor two. When I get to the place where I am obsessing over a problem, it is likebeing lost in the wilderness. I was fully trapped in a wilderness leading tonowhere. I was at the end of myself and my complaining was making me bad company.

It reminded me of a famous group whose complaining nature literally kept themlost in a wilderness for forty years. I started thinking back to the fact thatthe journey from Egypt to the Promised Land was only a couple of weeks by foot,but got extended to forty years due to the complaining nature of the people.This got my attention. Complaining and grumbling is on the list of things Godhates the most (Proverbs 6:16), and you only have to follow the path of the IsraelitesMoses was leading out of Egypt to understand why.

Complaining is contagious—it even got to Moses. The famous act of complainingthat led to the inability of Moses to enter the Promised Land is recorded inNumbers 20. The Israelites started it by complaining to Moses, Moses complainedto God and God responded with the answer. Moses was so fed up with that complainingand all that had been going on that he hit the rock with the staff and disobeyedGod’s command. It was that complaining attitude that only allowed Mosesonly to gaze over the Promised Land, but not be the one to lead Israel to actuallyconquer it. What more could we each accomplish if we learned the great lessonnot to complain!

I thought about my problem; so far complaining had not gotten me any closer tothe solution. By now, it stopped even feeling good to complain. I found myselfbeing the source of the contagious part of complaining. My griping brought upmore areas for the people I was griping at to gripe back. Finally, I got fedup with myself and my complaining.

I just stopped. I heeded the command in Philippians 2:14, Do everything withoutcomplaining or arguing. I stopped complaining about my problem and beganpraying about it instead. I just did what I had to do without complaining. And—youguessed it—my problem got better! What a life changing truth. Complainingnever wins. I’ll tell my husband just to stop me next time I try to complain(but that might get me complaining against him).


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