Updated: Aug 2
I am what is known as a complainer. I have tried to get out of that habit and become a more easy-going person. Often, I fail at that and continue to be the highly critical person I have always been. The big thing is, I usually complain to people who can't do anything about my concerns. I rarely complain to a store or restaurant manager, but I will make comments to the people I am with. ("Their service was so slow and the food was bland." "The cashier was on her phone the whole time while I was at the register.")
Last night I was talking with a friend. We ended up complaining about "the systems" in our lives. My husband could hear our whole conversation, but decided to not get involved. Afterwards, he let me know he was really disappointed. He did not hear any solutions coming out of our mouths, but only complaints. I thought I had other things to do, so I tried to focus on those things. I was annoyed that he was disappointed with me. I was even more annoyed that he was right. He called me out on my bitterness, and how easy it was for me to slip into the negativity with my friend. I am not always held accountable for my words, but I was this time, as I should have been. Being called out on my bad behavior was not pleasant, but it was necessary.
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,27 and give no opportunity to the devil.28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:25-32 (English Standard Version)