Thou shalt not complain.
You’re right. It’s not one of the 10 commandments. But the Bible certainly warns against complaining all the time.
I think about the ancient Hebrews complaining to Moses in the wilderness. Or Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT) where Paul says this:
“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.”
So today I’d like to suggest something very practical to help you complain less:
The 7-Day No Complaint Challenge.
I heard about the idea from Las Vegas pastor Jud Wilhite. Here’s what you do. Take a bracelet (or watch), and every time you complain about something irrelevant, change it from one wrist to the other.
Granted, if you need to thoughtfully disagree with something or someone, there’s nothing wrong with that. Feel free to thoughtfully disagree with a friend, co-worker or government policy decision until the cows come home.
But what this does is make you more aware of complaining about irrelevant things. Simply switching a bracelet or watch from one wrist to the other raises your awareness about how often you’re complaining.
Wilhite explains his thinking like this: “Complaining is like scratching your arm when it’s been in contact with poison ivy; it may bring some immediate relief, but it makes the situation worse in the end.”
A few days ago my 8-year old daughter made me a bracelet. I’m going to use it for the next seven days.
So join me and take the 7-Day No Complaint Challenge.
It’s not revolutionary. But I’m pretty sure it will make your words sound more like light…
And less like death.
By Matthew Ruttan
- My latest blog is: “Why going to a worship service reduces your stress.” I think the title is self-explanatory! You can read it here. Enjoy!