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3 Ways to Stop Complaining

3 Ways to Stop Complaining

Rev. Jaron S. Green

You can live your life being positive in a negative world.  Believe it or not, it isn’t impossible.  There is joy in the journey of life, with all of its hopeful anticipations and hidden surprises. Of course, there are those unexpected and unwelcome moments in life that are easy to complain about.  However, Reverend Paul Jones discovered the secret to overcoming the disappointing moments of life by weighing the good days against the bad. In his popular song, he sang, “When I look around and think things over, all of my good days outweigh my bad days.  I won’t complain.”  

The truth is, complaining kills your joy, not those crazy life moments.  Complaining makes you unhappier about already difficult circumstances.  Not only that, it makes everyone around you unhappy too. Not many people love to spend their time around complainers, most likely because it’s irritatingly contagious.  Therein lies the problem. Once we start to complain, it is hard to stop. Complaining can become a habit – and to tell you the truth – it is a bad habit. We can, literally, find something or someone to complain about all the time.  If it’s raining, we complain about that. If it’s sunny, we complain about that, saying, “Oh no – I’ll probably get sunburned.” Instead, we could find joy in the fact that the ground is being refreshed and watered, or that the flowers will bloom in the warmth of spring and summer.


Admittedly, we are somewhat conditioned to complain in our extremely spoiled and litigious society.  Just look at the headlines in newspapers and on television. I would say that most of what is seen is bad news.  We are continuously bombarded in a 24-hour news cycle with what’s wrong with everything. By our own nosey nature, and by our conditioning, we lean in for the next disappointing detail, which then leads to thoughtful or knee-jerk commentary, and if not careful, then to complaint.  This tendency helps develop the habit of complaining, especially when we live in absolutely unbelievable times. However, that is not how the Bible tells us to respond in a negative world.

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life”

Philippians 2:14-16


JOY KILLS COMPLAINING.  Joy makes you happy in the midst of unhappy situations.  Joy is congenially contagious. Joy either makes everyone around you happy, or it makes everyone just plain uncomfortable being unhappy.  If you want to conquer complaining, there are 3 ways you can start to change your attitude, and let joy replace your habit of complaints.


The Bible says “Do everything without complaining and arguing.” How do you do that?


  1. Admit There Is A PROBLEM

If you are a constant complainer – you have a problem. Today is the first step in your recovery process.  Recovery is not always pretty. Having counseled folks in addiction recovery, I know it can be painful. Some people are not going to want to be around you, because you’re going to have these strange cravings and ticks.  But let’s be real, if you’re a complainer, you could probably stand to have some new company, not the same audience that enables your habit. A breakthrough never comes in silence. In therapy, you have to listen a little, and talk a little.  As you are processing, a breakthrough occurs. In church, as you worship and pray, a breakthrough occurs. Usually, confession leads the way to breakthrough. It enables you to identify what’s happened, who’s responsible, and how you can begin to turn things around.  One of the most difficult parts of correcting a problem – is to admit that you have one. Take some time and listen to yourself.  If you spend a major amount of your time verbalizing the negative, you have a problem. Admit it.


  1. Change your SELF-TALK

People talk to themselves all the time.  Many do not want to admit it. I think to myself all of the time.  I write notes to myself all of the time. The truth is, when I am trying to think around something, I use language.  The language that I use to process around any issue, prayer request, or goal is self-talk. Self-talk is what you are thinking in your mind, the language you say to yourself, and what you choose to meditate on.  In order to conquer complaining, be very careful of your self-talk. Stop having inner pity parties, and change your way of thinking. Align your thinking with God’s thinking about you. He thinks you are special.  He thinks you are so special that He sent His Son to die on the cross for you. You are worthy. Change your way of thinking. Change your self-talk.


THERE IS POWER IN A SINGLE GODLY THOUGHT!  One thought leads to another thought leads to another thought.  One song leads to another song. One clap leads to another. Before you know it, you are crying and dancing and praising God.  You just had a whole Praise and Worship session from one thought.



Not only should you think positive thoughts, you should also speak positive words. Lift people up; don’t tear them down.  Complaining is a habit – it’s a bad habit. Habits are only broken by replacing them with something else. Take out the complaining and replace it with positive speaking.  Seriously, some of us need to refrain from negative and foul language. It would do us well to control ourselves and develop a broader vocabulary, rather than to resort to language that we’d be embarrassed to hear a small child repeat over a microphone in church.  You can conquer complaining by learning to go high, when others go low; by learning how to speak without lowering yourself to anger and frustration. The Bible says we’re going to give an account of every careless word that we speak.


When you refuse to complain, you change the atmosphere of the world you live in. You become the breath of fresh air in the room.  You stand out because are different than most people. Not only do you speak positively, you carry a message of hope. You carry the “Good News” in a world that is filled with bad news.  You carry a message of light in a dark world. Our culture needs some good news. It needs someone to bring them a message of hope. You can help change the world. Check your attitude.  Stop complaining. Be positive in a negative world.

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