I CAN’T COMPLAIN Andy Hollifield 1-12-18
Have you ever asked someone how they were doing and gotten the response; “I can’t complain”? It is often followed by; “I could, but nobody would listen.” Sometimes that is followed by “and if they did listen, they wouldn’t care.” The fact is that most of us really have no grounds to complain but another fact is that almost all of us do at some point in time. I guess the inspiration for this post came from reading too many gripes and complaints on Facebook and a lot of them over petty stuff. To each his own I guess but I just don’t see the need for constant complaining. I have always made the assumption that if someone worked all day, they probably came home tired. It kind of goes without saying. If someone stays up too late, they will most likely get sleepy. Also, when it is 16 degrees outside, we all know that it’s cold without someone complaining about it. I don’t mean to sound like I am complaining but I just think it’s funny. Really, it is kind of sad that we only put emphasis on the bad things that happen to us.
We all have the same tendencies. It’s hard to break the habit of complaining. Have you ever asked someone how they were doing and wished a second later that you hadn’t because they start telling you? I know we can all relate to this because we have already thought of that complainer that we know and by now; we have probably already found some places where we are guilty. I have tried in recent years to give this response to the question; How are you doing?” I usually say “I can’t complain because I don’t have to look far to find someone in worse shape than I am.” If you think about that statement a minute, you will see that it is true. It don’t take too long to think of someone who is sick, or grieving, or in financial problems, or just having some kind of trouble.
A quote from the apostle Paul that I like to keep in mind is found in Philippians 4:11. It says, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” It don’t matter what kind of shape we’re in, there is always somebody a lot worse off than we are. I wrote last year about “The Chocolate Milkshake.” That was a situation that God put me in that I will never forget. To make a long story short, I was waiting to meet my brother’s nurse back in October 1983. I had just had my kidney transplant. I noticed, in the waiting area, there was a family with a son about 12 that spent his whole time griping because his nurse hadn’t returned with his chocolate milkshake. I thought to myself “Kid, there are people here with real problems. You just need to get a life and sit down and shut up.” After a few minutes, this boy came around the corner and I had noticed that he walked with a hop. I didn’t think anything of it until he came around the corner into full view and I seen that he only had part of a leg. It had been amputated just above the knee. It was at that moment that God taught me that valuable lesson about someone always having it worse. I don’t know who that kid was but I know I will never forget him.
Since that day in ’83, I have tried to keep that lesson in mind. I am by no means wealthy but my family has a roof over our head, food on the table, multiple vehicles, our health, a church, the bills are paid, and most of all we have been born again. When you begin to count your blessings instead of your complaints it will make you put things in proper perspective and you will realize how blessed you really are. Do you know that the word “blessed” is in the bible 302 times and “bless” is in there 127 times. If you notice, the word “blessed” is past tense. That means that it has already happened? You have already been blessed. Those don’t even include those blessings yet to come.
So the next time you are tempted to complain, stop and look around and I am sure you will find someone that is having it a little rougher than you are. Then, you can thank God for blessing you like he has. If you will do that, I promise you that you will start your day a lot more positive and it will likely be a lot better day for you. Not only that; but if you do it and then someone asks you how you are doing, you can answer them honestly when you say; “I can’t complain.” Have a BLESSED day in the Lord!!!