No Reason to Complain

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A best-selling book which was written by Dale Carnegie and published in 1936, is called ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ It has a lot of great advice for being a person that everyone wants to be around and, of course, one who greatly influences others.

Mr. Carnegie’s very first recommendation for those who want to be more influential is:

“Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.”

The wisdom of this is easy to understand, because who wants to hang around people who are always finding fault with you, or with what you do.  And who wants to be friends with a person who continually condemns, either you, your actions, or both.  Also, constant complaining just takes the life out of any gathering.  We usually want to get as far away from the people who do these things as possible.

If you haven’t read this book by Mr. Carnegie, I’d suggest that you get a copy and study it.  Quite frankly, the reason why it has been so popular over the decades, is because it contains timeless truths that everyone should know. And most of these same truths can also be found in the Bible, God’s holy Word. The Scriptures have much to say about all three of these admonitions, given by Carnegie. However, let’s dwell on the final thought. “Don’t complain!”

I find it fascinating that we in America live in one of  most free and prosperous societies that has ever been on planet earth, and yet most of us find a reason to complain about something. The weather, our jobs, our families, our finances or lack thereof; there is always something to gripe about if you look closely enough, or if you compare your life to someone else’s that you think is doing better than you might be at this moment.

But what is complaining, really?  It’s is telling God that you aren’t satisfied with what he has blessed you with. It is focusing so much on the negative things in life that you forget that there are so many good and positive things that are happening to you now that far outweigh the negative. And it’s forgetting that we aren’t home yet.  Rather, we are strangers passing through this world, on our way to the perfect place that the Lord is preparing for us in eternity.

The apostle Paul tells the Philippians in his letter to them:

 “Do all things without complaining and disputing,  that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,  holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” (Philippians 4:12-14).

The world complains because it has rejected God and refuses to give him glory for what he has done, or thank him for his many blessings. That is what Paul tells us in Romans 1:21 when he says:

“For although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

The point is, that we don’t want to be like the world. We are God’s children and must set the example for how to live and how to remove the sinful act of complaining from our lives.

There is an old song which may help us in our quest to become more thankful and to stop complaining about things. It’s called ‘Count Your Blessings.’   I’ll give you the first verse and the refrain to give an idea of what the song is saying. It tells us:

 When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

So, the next time you are tempted to complain about your life, just do what the song says. Sit down and count your blessings. Don’t just think about them; write them down.  And read them over and over again, until you realize that God has been so good to you that you have no reason to be negative about your life.

And that same God, no matter what you may be going through at this moment, has a marvelous plan for your future if you’ve placed your faith in the death, burial and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, for your salvation.

Indeed, having Christ as your Savior is the greatest blessing of all. Put Him at the top of your list!