In a recent chat with a friend she - almost casually - shared with me her definition of complaint:
"Making evil real."
We both realised that complaint is not constructive, it does not aim at change or improvement. It expresses your dissatisfaction with a current situation and most often leaves the other one with a little heavier heart than probably already. Where is the uplift conversations should be?
The complainer has decided that evil is real and voices his or her conviction. Observing why this is not easily detected I discovered this tendency, namely to overlook that complaint is making evil real and regards complaint as a normal form of human communication. There is even the term "Bonding by Complaining". What if evil is only real because of being resurrected in thought and conversation?
Humanity is a complaining species, one might think when one considers the resistance against the very good proposals for a different way of living as set forth by Jesus. What? Listening to others and supporting them? Sharing? Humility and meekness? What? Walking a second mile? Giving your coat? Forgiving? The noise of complaint, an inner renitence against everything from accepting governments to doing the laundry to living peacefully with our neighbour to family members, who are different from us. Opposition, opposition, opposition.
Mary Baker Eddy is quoted in the diary of her secretary that whenever she felt tempted to murmur over her trials or burdens she would open her Bible to where the children of Israel murmured and found fault with God. I remembered this recently and have made it a point in leaving the choir of murmurers once and for all. And be willing to accept the abundant life, the freedom, lightheartedness, and joy that flows from the spirituality of being.
In the Hebrew Bible I read recently this wonderful verse:
"... to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."
If you feel you cannot possibly put on "the garment of praise", if you feel you have all the right in the world to nurture "the spirit of heaviness", if you feel the way you think you feel, give it a try for one week. Resist every attempt to resist good, eliminate feelings of competition and egotism, say yes to little requests from your surrounding, be generous. Be a lightweight to your surrounding and take at closer look at all the good that is always there, always right where we are. Just one week.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.