Reframing Our Simplistic Complaints

Our complaints are simplistic. They speak out of our selfish desires to be loved, comforted, and coddled.

We complain about it being too hot, too cold, too rainy, too sunny.

We become fixated on why our sports teams are so pitiful. We are frustrated with politics and our inability to find the “perfect” candidate.

We hate the way we look and are obsessed with losing weight, gaining weight, changing our appearance, and comparing (fill in the blank) part of us with someone else.

We despise traffic and grumble about the left lane driver oblivious to the parade of vehicles behind him, as his sole purpose for leaving his house was to cause us to run late.

We accuse a loved one of breaking the house rules by leaving his (or her) dirty clothes strung out all over the floor and putting the toilet paper on the holder facing the wrong direction.

We grumble that our church isn’t meeting our needs, that the music isn’t our style, and that the pastor’s message isn’t delivered in an entertaining style.

We whine that our last generation iPad isn’t sufficient enough, that our internet speed is crawling, and that our smart phone isn’t smart enough.

We protest when friends aren’t meeting our needs. In fact, we don’t even have any friends.

A Little Perpsective

Photo Courtesy: FreedomHouse on Flickr

Recently, I read an article about the plight of the Syrian people who are engulfed in the middle of a civil war. The once-thriving city of Aleppo, at its peak, consisted of 2.5 million people. Now, ruins cover the landscape, leaving a harrowing reminder of the life that was. Electricity used to be commonplace, but it is now turned on for only 2 hours per day. Across Syria, tens of thousands have been killed, and an estimated three million have been “displaced or in dire need of food and other essentials.” Christians are unsure of their fate and ability to worship freely, especially if the country falls into the hands of the rebels.

The reality is that our complaints are often trivial and inward focused, especially in light of the real suffering people are dealing with daily outside the borders of our own little world. We complain because we seek to build the most comfortable life possible. We have embraced a certain status and lifestyle. Sometimes, it helps to step back and get outside of our safe bubble. As we reframe our complaints, we recognize that God calls us to be salt and light, not sour and dark.

What do you complain about? How do you gain perspective when you are in complaint mode?

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  • http://thomasemason.tumblr.com/ Thomas Mason

    I know a little bit about complaining…just a little bit. But so true! When we really stop and consider that someone somewhere is going through a much more difficult time in life, our little complaints are unfounded and trivial.

    • http://www.trailreflections.com/ Chris Peek

      I know a bit about complaining as well! Of course I don’t won’t to minimize the need to work through some struggles, but I wanted to remind myself (and others) that many of my complaints are because of my own selfishness.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    You called me out when you mentioned the driving example. Let’s just say I have to repent a lot while driving. Great perspective bro!

    • http://www.trailreflections.com/ Chris Peek

      I’m the same way Dan, which is one of the reasons I mentioned it. There is something about driving that brings out the worst in us. On a trip last week, I caught myself complaining a couple of times, but then I remembered this blog!