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  • Writer's pictureMark Alan Williams

5 Simple Steps To Conquer Complaining And Find Happiness

A few years ago, Carolyn and I went on a one-day cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. As we were leaving the ship, we overheard a lady telling a staff member how much she enjoyed the trip. But just a moment later, a man began complaining to the same staff member about all the things he didn’t like about the cruise.

CC Image courtesy of andronicusmax on Flickr

I felt sorry for the person that the man directed his complaints toward, but I felt even more sorry for him. It was clear that he was difficult to please and an unhappy person.

What a contrast between those two individuals.

Philippians 2:14-15 says “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”

The Bible is prohibiting everyday every day grumbling, griping and whining and not legitimate issues such as:

  • Something in need of repair

  • Correcting a child

  • Speaking out against immorality

Here are 5 steps to take to stop complaining and find happiness:

1. Admit that You Have a Complaining Problem

Do you fall into one of the following categories?

  • The Whiner – Complains about work, the weather, traffic, people, the government and on and on.

  • The Gossip – Shares personal details of other people and talks behind their backs.

  • The Cynic – Sees the glass half empty and is negative about most things.

  • The Perfectionist – Nothing is ever good enough.

  • The Quiet Complainer – Complaints are internal and unspoken. I tend to fall into this category.

2. Believe that You can Conquer Complaining

Making excuses as to why we are unable to stop complaining will only prolong the pain.

Instead we need to believe God can empower us through Jesus Christ to break the habit of complaining. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

3. Concentrate on the Positive and Give Thanks

Concentrating on having a positive and grateful attitude can help us avoid complaining.

The Bible gives us examples for right thinking in Philippians 4:8b (TLB) “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.”

God wants us to be happy and grateful. He instructs us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) “No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

4. Decide to Think and Say Only Good Things

Christian author and speaker Zig Ziglar had been on an exhausting business trip and was eager to return home. He arrived at the airport only to find that his flight home had been delayed.

Instead of getting angry, he told the woman at the counter that he would happily make himself comfortable, get some work done and wait patiently. The girl remarked on his good mood that day. He replied that it was the result of a decision made years earlier to be in a good mood.

We can decide today to be in a good mood the next time:

  • our plane is late

  • our toilet overflows

  • our computer is stolen (as mine was)our car breaks down

5. Evaluate yourself Regularly with the Help of Others

Winning the battle against complaining takes time, effort and prayer. It requires honest evaluation from others and ourselves.

Lamentations 3:40a says, “Let us examine our ways and test them.”

We can:

  • read Scripture and allow it to convict us

  • ask God if we have pleased Him and ask for His help

  • ask a family member to evaluate us

  • find an accountability partner

With the Lord’s help and consistent work we can stop complaining, smile more, increase our happiness and enjoy peace.

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