The tragic culture of complaining

The tragic culture of complaining

Complaining is a way of life for so many people. It seems to be the default setting in our minds. When something doesn’t quite work out the way we would like, we complain. We complain about traffic, about weather (whether it is too hot or cold or rainy or humid), about our co-workers and family members, about the cost of living, about the government, about anything that comes into our minds.

Just read the comments section on any news article on the internet (and note that the news article is probably also complaining about something!). The comments are just more complaints.

I noticed this complaining bias when I looked online to find reviews of a product I was interested in buying. While I knew it was a good product with a good reputation, there were quite a number of very harsh and critical reviews and a relatively small number of positive ones. Why was this? It is because people who are happy with a product don’t tend to go online to write reviews. The people who go to write reviews are the angry people who are dissatisfied. If we are unhappy with something, the research says that we are far more likely to tell others than if we are happy with something.

Christians are also tempted to fall into this complaining trap. We have extra things to complain about too: the way our culture is heading from God, the problems in our local church, the sin in those around us that is obvious to us. Without actively deciding to be like this, we can become those who tear others down and are difficult to be around.

Surely Christians of all people should stand out as different in our culture than complains so much. We are called to be content in all circumstances (Phil 4:11-13). We have an incredible series of blessings right now because of Jesus (Eph 1:1-14). We know that we are secure in God’s love and that we belong to Him as His children. This should mean that we are often thankful people, joyful even when things don’t go our way, because we know the goodness of our God.

So when you find your conversations dominated by complaining, stop and pause for a moment. You have far more to rejoice in than you do to complain about! Let’s stand out as people who know God works all things for our good. Let’s strive for contentment instead of complaining.