Criticizing and Complaining

Photo by EngelFish

Let me preface what I’m about to say with saying, we all complain and criticize sometimes. We all get disappointed and frustrated and need to vent a bit. What I want to talk about today is people who make complaining an art.

Do you know anyone who consistently criticizes and complains about everyone and everything? You know the one I’m talking about, they can’t even have a short conversation without finding fault in something or someone.

People nor life ever seem to live up to their expectations, and in turn they are never quite content in their lives. It doesn’t matter how positive, enthusiastic or cheerful you are; they will find a dark cloud somewhere and squeeze some rain out of it. It seems some people are just not happy being happy.

Why is it so hard for some folks to look for and find the good in others? What is it that makes some people see mostly darkness in life? What is it that makes some of us so cynical and jaded?

One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is Philippians 4:8.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Where does it say, whatever things are false, whatever things base, whatever things are unfair, whatever things are vile, whatever things are ugly, whatever things are negative, whatever things are worthy of condemnation – meditate on these things? Nowhere in scripture does it tell us to do that, yet that is exactly what some people do.

I am an eternal optimist, which makes people who complain a lot both a challenge and an enigma to me. I realize life is not all sunshine and rainbows, but there are a whole lot of good things to think about. Now, I know people will disappoint us, and do things we don’t agree with. People will fall short, and not live up to our expectations. Who doesn’t?

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

I will have to admit that I am one of the chiefs of falling short before God and many times before others. I’m just grateful that He’s much more forgiving and better at overlooking my shortcomings than some people I’ve known.

I don’t think most people who complain all the time really want to be that way. Some of them may not even realize how habitual their complaining and criticizing are. I suppose people become that way for various reasons.

Maybe they were raised always hearing about the wrongs in the world, or about how bad people can be; and their perspective on life has become jaded. I think some people just expect too much from others, and lack the patience and understanding to overlook their shortcomings.

I’ll admit that in some cases it can be very easy to criticize others; after all, some people make it very easy to be critical of them. But, that is not the way we’re supposed to roll. We are called to be a light in a dark world. You cannot be a light while condemning others for their shortcomings or lack of understanding.

Matthew 7:1-3 1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

Lately, every time I start talking about someone or something in a judgmental way that scripture pops into my head. If I don’t cut other people slack, I can’t expect God to cut me any. I have far too many faults and weaknesses to be judging others. After all, I am going to need all the grace and mercy I can get. How about you?

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  • floyd

    Amen, brother. I need all the grace and mercy I can fathom too! It is difficult to be around the glass-half-full people. It is a horrible habit to get into. I have a few people that I’m around that I’ve nicknamed Eyore, the donkey from Winnie The Pooh. I never put that scripture in Philippians into this context, makes perfect sense. Well done.

    • Mike

      Thanks Floyd. Some times being around negative complaining people can just zap the energy from you. I’d forgotten about Eyore, that’s pretty funny! I certainly glad that God is not petty like us humans. 🙂