Complaint Department, 300 Miles That Way -->

Do you have someone that you call when you just need to vent? If not, please do not make it me. I am evidently several folks' go-to steam release, and I've about had my fill of the griping. Don't get me wrong, I have done my share of griping, and once I get started... oh, man. And, better yet, I love to use BIG words when I gripe, so it becomes hysterically funny. I think that's why I'm having such a hard time listening to the complaints of others -- I want so much to join in. Like a dieter who has a hard time hanging out with her friend who is trying to put on weight, it's hard for me to listen to some griping and not join in.

About a year ago, I REALLY read Philippians 2:14-16a: "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." Sure, I knew the verse "Do everything without complaining or arguing," and I'm pretty sure I had my children memorize it as well. Not only is it a directive (order/command), it has a reason with it -- and a darn good one: "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." Basically, how in heaven's name is the world going to know you belong to Christ if you're just as gripy as the next person? And, truly, when I look around at my life -- what in the world do I have to gripe about anyway? I mean, honestly...!

I really do TRY to limit my griping to God and my husband. Sometimes I will call Troy and say, "I don't need you to do anything, but I just need to VENT." If I ever need to vent ABOUT Troy -- oh, yeah, it happens -- I really try to keep that between me and God. 15 years ago we became one -- I signed up to be a part of him as well as being his biggest fan and cheerleader. I don't need to "spread the (kill)joy" by griping about half of me to other folks. That is where it is really hard to not join in when griping is around me, 'cause, turns out, some other husbands can annoy their spouses, too. But then you have to remember that marriage is for our holiness, not happiness, right? It's all a cycle.

So, when you get all good and worked up about whatever it is, please do not call/email/stop-by-my-house/whatever. Blog about it. Pray about it. Find what the Lord has to say about it in scripture. Google it -- I'm sure at least 15,000 other people have your same exact gripe.

I'm over here trying REAL hard to shine like a star in the universe!


Paula said...

Amen!!! There is enough negative in this world. This verse was chosen by our principal last year as our verse for the year! As you can imagine, a school becomes prime ground for gripy teachers! I can remember a Wednesday morning mandatory meeting where we were given a well deserved "spanking" in the area of griping and complaining. I told my principal later how courageous she was to try to correct that behavior in us. We even sang the Steve Green "Hide 'Em in your Heart" song that correclates with that verse throughout our school year. I can't read that verse without singing the song. All 130+ students and teachers in our school know it by heart!

Roxanne said...

I try to limit complaining as well, but I do find that a godly friend or two come in handy. . .as long as that person doesn't mind being MY "go to" person. I don't have much to complain about anymore regarding my spouse and my marriage, but boy, oh boy in the early years I surely did. That's when an older, wiser confidant came in really handy, because she let me vent then began to correct my way of thinking. I care not to hear women of our "years" of marriage gripe and complain, but I'll listen to a newly married gal, then try to gently guide their thinking along.

As far as the other things in life, well, I can pitch a fit with the best of 'em, but I try to limit those too.

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