Archive for November, 2010

We Should Stop Complaining

A while back, my Dad bought a Christian CD for my son, Jeremiah.  It’s a great CD that puts Bible verses to music.  One of the songs is based on Philippians 2:14 … a verse I sadly paid much attention to before Jeremiah got the CD.  The song goes like this:

Do… do… do… do… do all things,

Do… do… do… do… do all things,

Do… do… do… do… do all things,

Without complaining or arguing!

Pretty deep stuff for a children’s song, huh? And, simple, too.  My son sings this all of the time, and the cool thing is that he’s learning to apply the Scripture to his life.

So, what’s in it for us?  Well, I think it’s time we all learn to stop complaining.  Now, I’m not talking about providing helpful feedback to a person or an organization that asks for feedback and wants to improve (think restaurants that offer comment cards).  I’m talking about the unproductive stuff.  Like complaining to a friend or family member about some person, place, thing, or event when there’s nothing that they can do about the situation.  I’m talking about complaining about work, church, family members, and the like with your only real purpose being to let people know how unhappy you are.

One of the world’s most prolific bloggers, Seth Godin, recently wrote a post about the uselessness of whining.  Take a look at what he wrote about the two problems with whining:

The first is that it doesn’t work. You can whine about the government or your friends or your job or your family, but nothing will happen except that you’ll waste time.

Worse… far worse… is that whining is a reverse placebo. When you get good at whining, you start noticing evidence that makes your whining more true. So you amplify that and immerse yourself in it, thus creating more evidence, more stuff worth complaining about.

If you spent the same time prattling on about how optimistic you are, you’d have to work hard to make that true…

Well, we’ve identified the problem.  We know what God thinks about it.  And, we know how useless our complaining is.  So, what are we going to do about it?  Hmmm?

Thursday Thoughts

So, it’s Thursday, and I was thinking… there are some pretty random thoughts that bounce around inside my head at various times throughout the day.  Some fun, some funny, some smart, some dumb…all kinds of thoughts.  Some come out of my mouth.  Some are filtered out.  So, I was thinking that maybe I would dedicate a Thursday every now and then to some random thoughts.  Short snippets of the stuff I’m thinking about.  So, it’s Thursday, and I was thinking…and this is what I thought:

  • More people should fill out the survey’s for free food on the back of receipts. Think about it, it helps the restaurant, and it helps you!  Today, my lunch from Wendy’s was just $1.06 for a classic single (not a small, dollar burger) & fries.  What a deal! Burger King, Arby’s, Pollo Tropical, Boston Market, and Checker’s (and probably more) will all gladly give you free food for a few minutes of your time!  Lesson: Save money. Complete the surveys.
  • Christians shouldn’t compromise their biblical values for the sake of their pocketbooks. The elections were held this week.  I hope Christians voted for candidates because of their shared values rather than because the candidate promised to give more money to their “special interest.”  Lesson: We should vote based on beliefs, not bucks.
  • Things are not always as “good” as I remembered. We watched the Charlie Brown DVD about Halloween while carving pumpkins this year.  I had forgotten how mean-spirited some of those kids were.  It wasn’t quite what I had remembered.  Here’s another one, my wife used to go to Jack-in-the-Box when she was a kid. They had one where she grew up, and she thought it was great.  But, when she first took me to one after we got married (I had never been), it wasn’t as great as she remembered.  Lesson: We must live in the present, not the past.
  • Legal documents are always worded confusingly. I recently had to fill out some employment documents for Liberty University.  Why are those things so confusing?!  On the election ballot this week, there were several amendments.  How come we can use normal-people wording on those things?!  This is just ridiculous.  I’m a three time college graduate, and I can barely decipher what the ballots and tax forms are really saying. Lesson: We should communicate simply and clearly.
  • Satan’s attacks precede God’s blessings. Satan isn’t omniscient, but I’m pretty sure that he’s smart enough to know when God is up to something.  Two weeks ago, some pretty crazy stuff (not pleasant) happened at our church.  When Sunday came, two people expressed faith in Jesus.  Last week, more crazy stuff popped up (again, not pleasant).  When Sunday came, we baptized three.  We’re in the middle of this week, and I’m pretty sure Satan’s been working already. So, I guess, God’s blessings are on the way!  Lesson: Don’t lost heart when things get tough.  God’s blessings are coming.

So, that’s what I was thinking this week. I hope it’s made you think. Stay tuned for the next installment of Thursday Thoughts!