They steal a cheerful heart. They bring gloom. They breed dissatisfaction. And they thrive on negativity.
Complaining and Criticism.
They may be buddies, but not ones I want to have!
These are the Words that I have to continually call to mind throughout my day:
"Do everything without complaining or arguing," Philippians 2:14I know I've written about this before, but this (fighting the desire to criticize or complain) is such a stronghold in my life. So, fresh words about it are always convicting to me! Here are some good insights I've read lately.
"If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." Galatians 5:15
"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." James 3:9-10
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt," Colossians 4:6
"I have found that I can be rather critical. We excuse it as having a high sense of quality or wanting the best, but being critical can be a dangerous thing. If I look at someone and my heart is full of criticism, it steals my ability to bless that person. Criticism steals all the encouraging things that I should say out of my mouth. So, instead of being uplifting to that person, I am left standing in silence.
It also steals joy. It impoverishes us when we cannot rejoice in the work that others do. We could be enjoying and sharing, but instead we criticize and are left empty. A heart full of criticism has no room for something as large and life-changing as joy.
I would rather have a heart full of joy and good things to say about the people around me, than to have the power to force everyone to 'get it right.'
Sometimes the healthiest thing to do is to learn to be content."
-Zach Motts' blog post, The Joy Thief
I find that these negative attitudes and behaviors are not healthy for me -- spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally -- and, in fact, are destructive to my very being. Complaining and criticizing are the kind of "friends" that kick you while you're down. Just like self-pity. Anyway, here's another good article about it: Why We Are Addicted To Complaining And How To Stop It.
To combat negativity and frolic in the waters of joy inexpressible is exactly why I had started giving thanks for my boatload!
"give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18