As we rapidly approach the holiday season and the impending degradation that this time of year will bring to my mental health, I need to focus on the positives. Over the past several weeks, my job has severely strained my mental stability. But with those weeks now behind me, I am trying to stay positive in a world full of negativity.
So, where do I begin?
Starting a couple of weeks ago I struggled with a situation at work that ultimately led me to suffer a devastating relapse in my mental health. I had been making progress and was starting to feel the best I had felt in years. Without getting into the details of this internal work-related issue, I can tell you that my first inclination was to fight back and complain. Have you ever thought, why do so many people complain? Why are there some in this world who simply cannot be satisfied?
Why Do People Complain?
If you have worked in the service industry, certainly a cantankerous person or two has crossed your path. Even if you have not worked in service, I surmise you know at least one person who is always argumentative.
So why do people complain?
I am convinced that in today’s society, people complain simply due to the cultural demands we have placed on ourselves. In other words, mankind has been developing a “me first” mentality since we were removed from the Garden. And because of our sin, we continually try to remake ourselves into something other than the image of God.
Christians, have you ever been asked, why God allows terrible things to happen? The reason may not be clear to everyone however mankind has been building a preverbal wall with our sin, which now separates us from our Creator. God did not create evil — we chose to disobey Him; instead, we chose to embrace Satan’s depraved “it’s all about me” lifestyle.
Could Complaining be a Sin?
The definition of the Greek word for complainer (μεμψίμοιρος) simply means someone who shows discontentment with their lot in life. In Philippians 2, Paul reminded the Church in Philippi to not grumble or argue. And in Numbers 11 we have a record of a great example of mankind’s contemptuous nature.
In Numbers 11, the Israelites, having recently been saved from a life of slavery, complained to Moses about food. Their complaint was not concerning a lack of food or subsistence. On the contrary, their complaint was about their loss of appetite due to having “nothing to look at but this manna!” (Numbers 11:6). They had been in bondage yet many of them wanted to go back where the food was “free”.
God provided a safe passage from bondage yet His people still complained. That generation’s sin caused them to wander around aimlessly in the desert for 40 years until their children finally reach the land they were promised.
But Sometimes I Just Need to Vent
I hear you yelling through your device’s screen at me. Let’s look at this in another way.
Imagine an unopened can of soda still sealed with the pop tab from the factory. What would happen if you were to vigorously shake the can for several minutes and then place it on a table? From the outside, absolutely nothing. However inside, there would be a great amount of pressure building up. Unbeknownst to the naive passer-by, that tasty can of soda would look normal. However, by popping the tab, they would immediately learn the truth.
I used this analogy to prove this point. Yes, there are times when the pressure building in our psyche is so great that the only way to relieve the stress is to vent.
Ethan Kross, the author of the book Chatter, said “We want to connect with other people who can help validate what we’re going through, and venting really does a pretty good job at fulfilling that need.”
So if venting can potentially be therapeutic, you need someone whom you can confide in. Fortunately, for my workplace venting needs, I have such a person who I know and trust. I have known this person for almost twenty years so we have built a great amount of trust.
My point today is simple. Complaining is not the answer as doing so may lead to further strife. This is especially true in circumstances where even if you were to complain, nothing would change.
When venting, be mindful of gossip. Venting to someone else does not give you the right to spread gossip.
If you made it this far, please consider commenting below, subscribing, and also sharing on your social media sites. Most importantly, I ask for your prayers. I write this weekly blog as an outlet in my fight against depression. However, my hope is that something I write here may help others who may be struggling. If you would like to help with my battle against depression, check out my online Etsy store and affiliate links. Most proceeds are donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by dialing 988. You may also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.