Do you think you could go a whole month without complaining even once?
I visited my Dad’s church Sunday and Pastor Mike challenged the whole congregation to go for a whole month without complaining.
Our family took on the challenge (all 8 of us). Christina had the idea that if you complained about something, you had to sing your words! Here are a couple of the “songs” that were sung at dinner that night:
“Is that kale in my salad?”
“I thought we were eating at 6:45!”
Get the idea? Needless to say, it was a lot of fun! Not only that, it cut down on complaining because everyone was being careful not to. And if anyone came even close to complaining, the others immediately made the guilty party sing it!
After I was caught complaining, I said, “But I’m just stating a fact!” Guess what? If the fact is negative, that’s complaining!
Our family kept this up for about 3 hours and I learned something. We complain and don’t even realize we’re doing it! (That is, until you get caught!)
So why take this family holiday challenge? God says,
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16 NIV
Shine among them like stars in the sky
And don’t forget how the Israelites complained in the wilderness after being set free from bondage and witnessing one miracle after another. (That’s a whole post in itself!)
“All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!” Numbers 14:2 NIV
Have you ever been around anyone who never complained? Pretty nice isn’t it? Have you ever been around anyone who complained constantly? Not so nice! It’s pretty straight forward. Complainers don’t make bright stars in the darkness.
Complaining has negative health effects.
God knows that complaining isn’t good for us. If only we would just obey Him! Science has proven that complaining is unhealthy. Consider this.
- Complaining changes the way people see you. “According to Travis Bradberry, PhD, “Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you.”
- Complaining causes brain damage. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus—an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought. Damage to the hippocampus is scary, especially when you consider that it’s one of the primary brain areas destroyed by Alzheimer’s.
- Complaining has negative health effects. When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. One effect of cortisol, for example, is to raise your blood pressure and blood sugar… All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes.
So I challenge you to accept the “Don’t Complain Challenge”. For one month you can’t complain about anything. See what happens. Pastor Mike guarantees that it will make you a happier, healthier, and more positive person. You will not only feel better, you will become a person others like to be around.
You will be “seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world, Holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life…” Philippians 2:15b-16a AMPC
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?
You can listen to Pastor Mike’s energizing sermon at https://www.wesleymethodist.org/sermons
Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0.