One of the things most of us human beings tend to be pretty good at is complaining. We do it all the time. We can complain about almost anything. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. I have too much to do. I don’t have enough to do. Too many people call and interrupt me. Nobody ever calls me. No matter what happens, we manage to find a way to complain about it.
Now, I’m not pointing fingers here. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. I try not to do it too often in public, although I’m not always successful at that. But even when I am successful at it, that just means Wanda has to hear more of it. That’s not very fair to her. It’s probably not very pleasant for her, either.
So, I’ve made a New Year’s resolution. Yes, I know it’s September 21st, but I don’t see any reason to wait three months for this. My new year’s resolution, which I’m starting today, is to stop complaining.
Now, let me explain that a little bit more. I’m not saying we have to like everything that happens. Some things happen that we should not like. But even so, sitting around and complaining about those things does no one, including ourselves, any good. If we don’t like something that’s happened, rather than sitting around complaining about it, we should see what we can do about it.
And I can already hear some people saying, “But what if there’s nothing I can do?” That’s true sometimes. But I suspect it’s not true as often as we think. There’s usually something we can do. We may not be able to stop hurricanes or fires, but we can donate to organizations who can help the victims of them. We may not be able to keep a loved one from getting sick or even dying, but we can be there for them and show our love to them. There is almost always something we can do. Even if the only thing we can do is pray for someone, that’s still something. In fact, it may be the most important thing for us to do.
But what if there truly is nothing we can do? Then it’s time to accept the situation and move forward. Sitting around and complaining won’t help. It won’t change anything. It’ll just keep us stuck where we are, and obviously we’re not happy where we are or we wouldn’t be complaining! So if there’s nothing we can do, it’s still time to stop complaining and get on with things. As the old saying goes, if you can’t get over it, get on with it. It’s about the only productive thing we can do.
Complaining can be an easy habit to get into and a hard habit to break. I’m sure I’ll probably slip sometimes. Feel free to call me on it, in a nice way please, when I do. But I invite you to make this resolution with me. Let’s stop complaining. It’ll help us get more enjoyment out of this amazing gift called life that God has given us.