Total Life Blog   |  Think About Such Things

Think About Such Things

The dictionary defines the verb complain as expressing feelings of pain, dissatisfaction, or resentment. As humans we find ourselves complaining about any number of things: our friends, our spouses, our kids, our siblings, our parents, our co-workers, ourselves.  We can’t change other people, although we’d like to think so and would definitely like to try. However, we can change ourselves and we can change our attitudes.  Trying to make the world around us fit our own preconceived ideas of how the world should be will only increase our stress levels and hurt our souls.

When we are dissatisfied with our circumstances, we express it in words – either to ourselves, to those around us or to God.  There’s nothing wrong with this.  We verbalize to process our thoughts and emotions.  It becomes an issue when we focus on the dissatisfaction, and either refuse to do something to change I,t or refuse to accept what can’t be changed.  Dissatisfaction can be either a catalyst to improvement or it can suck us into a black hole of negativity.

Negativity is a drain on our well-being.  It adds to our stress.  We already have plenty of stressors in our lives without making up new ones.  Stress can:

  • Lower our ability to fight off illness
  • Sap our energy
  • Decrease our ability to deal with the day to day ups and downs of life
  • Can lead to depression

Negativity leads to a pessimistic and fatalistic outlook; things are wrong and there’s nothing we can do to change them, so why try? Negativity also affects those around us.  Think about how you feel after being around a negative person.  Do you want people to feel that way when they’re around you?

In contrast, think about how you feel after being around a positive person.  Think about the energy they give off.  Think about how the world feels more hopeful after being around a person who acknowledges that, yes the world is flawed place but there are so many good things in it too and there are things we can do to correct some of those flaws.

Complaining is wasted energy because it doesn’t effect any positive change.  Take a look at the things that dissatisfy you.  Can you change them? If so, take the energy you’ve been putting into complaining and put it into making that change.  If not, put that energy into an attitude change.  Look for the good things.  Remember all of those things that you were thankful for last Thursday as everyone sat down to turkey dinner?  Keep thinking about those things and add to them every day.  Look for the good in those people that irritate you.  Look for ways to make a difference in your community to make inroads into those things that are too big for one person alone but not too big if we all contribute – things like poverty, hunger, and homelessness. At the same time remember that life won’t always look the way we planned it would, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t in control.  He still has a plan if you’re willing to be involved.  But living in a state of complaint and negativity doesn’t allow us to see where He’s working.

Last week I wrote about meditation.  If you find yourself in a negative place more often than not lately, here is a scripture to meditate on from the book of Philippians. In the eighth verse of the fourth chapter, Paul writes:  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

God knows that the more we focus on the good, the more good we can do in the world.


Author: Kristina Eberly

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