Summary: This sermon looks at six steps to overcome complaining. 1. Admit There Is A PROBLEM 2. Change your SELF-TALK 3. Speak POSITIVELY 4. Take Responsibility For Your Own LIFE 5. Develop An Attitude Of GRATITUDE 6. Look For God In Every SITUATION
Joy in the Journey - Being Positive In A Negative World
Complaining kills joy. It makes you unhappy. It makes everyone around you unhappy too. How many of you like to be around complainers?
The problem is – that once we start to complain – it is hard to stop. Complaining can become a habit – and to tell you the truth – it is a bad habit. We can find something to complain about all the time. If it is raining – of course we can complain about that. But we could also rejoice that the ground is being refreshed and watered. If it is sunny we could complain about that saying, “Oh no – I will probably get sun-burned.”
We are somewhat conditioned by our society to complain. Look at the headlines in your newspapers and on television. I would say that most of what you see is bad news. We are bombarded continuously with what’s wrong with everything. By our own nature and by our conditioning we tend to develop the habit of complaining. But that is not how the Bible tells us to respond in a negative world. Look at Philippians chapter two with me:
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:14-16 (NKJV)
The Bible tells us that Christians are to be different than the rest of the world. I like the way the Message Bible states these verses:
“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.” Philippians 2:14-16 (MSG)
HOW TO CONQUER COMPLAINING
The Bible says "Do everything without complaining and arguing." How do you do that?
1. Admit There Is A PROBLEM
If you are a constant complainer – you have a problem. For one thing it is not how God wants you to approach the world. He wants you to - “Do all things without complaining and disputing.”
Proverbs chapter twenty-eight says:
“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)
One of the most difficult parts of correcting a problem – is to admit that you have one. Take some time this week and listen to yourself. Ask yourself: How much time do I spend griping, complaining, arguing and saying – life is rotten. If you spend a major amount of your time verbalizing the negative – you have a problem. Admit it.
In the verse we just read from Proverbs twenty-eight it gives us two steps on the way to correct the problem. Go ahead and circle the words “confess” and “turn”. We need to confess when we are doing wrong and we also need to stop doing it. I know this is easier said than done – but the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have one.