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COLUMN: Do everything without complaining

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By George Smith

 The Apostle Paul advised the Philippians: “Do everything without complaining” (2:14).

Complaining kills joy and makes you unhappy. No one likes to be around a complainer.

The problem with complaining is that once you start it is hard to stop. It can easily become a habit and you find something to complain about all the time.

Society encourages us to complain. Look at the headlines in your newspaper or listen to the news on TV. There is bad news everywhere.

But Paul says, “Do everything without complaining.” 

So, how do we conquer complaining? First, we must admit that we have a problem.  “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). We are to confess and turn from our wrong.

Second, conquer complaining by changing your self-talk. What you think, say and meditate on is self-talk. Be careful here for you can easily slip into negative self-talk. Paul gives a wonderful list of positive things and he concludes by saying, “Dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8). 

Third, replace the negative with the positive. Speak positively. 

“Don’t let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up ….” (Ephesians 4:29). Replace criticisms with compliments.

The last suggestion would be to “look for God in every situation” (Philippians 1:6). Problems will come into your life. But remember God is with you and will never leave you.  So be positive in a negative world. Be like the Psalmist and “let the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart be acceptable to the Lord.”