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Why Complaining and Murmuring are Bad for Your Spiritual and Physical Health
by stephanie reck
7/23/2019 / Christian Living
I must admit that it can be easy to complain and murmur when your circumstances are difficult. I have done my fair share of grumbling when I experienced challenging times in my life. Let’s face it, no one likes to go through rough times and there is something inside all of us that has believed, “I deserve better than this.”
Complaining and murmuring can feel good to your flesh when you are faced with less than stellar situations. Complaining has a way of bonding people together, you have something in common but not in a good way. Who has not enjoyed “venting” to others.
Let’s take a look at what the definition of complaining and murmuring are, and see if you have ever found yourself behaving in these ways:
Complaining, to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, resentment, grief or to find fault. To tell of one’s pains and ailments.
Murmuring, a mumbled or private expression of discontent.
After reading the definitions for complaining and murmuring, I am sure we can all admit we have done both, and some have chosen complaining and murmuring as a lifestyle.
The Greek word translated complainer literally means one who is discontented with his life, and is akin to the word grumbler.
Why complaining and murmuring are bad for your spiritual and physical health:
- Scripture says not to. When we complain we are not good witnesses to others.
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, among them you are seen as bright lights, Philippians 2:14-18.
- We have an example in the Bible that clearly points to us not complaining and grumbling.
After God delivered the Israelite’s out of the wilderness, they complained and murmured among themselves.
We should not test the Lord as some of them did-and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble as some of them did-and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, 1 Corinthians 10:9-11
- God wants us to pour our hearts and complaints to Him.
It is okay to tell God your frustrations, just look through the book of Psalms as you can clearly see the complaints, but it is not okay to complain and grumble with others because it spreads like venous poison and can cause anger, bitterness, resentment, and leads to more frustration. There can be a time and place to express dissatisfaction with others, but only done by reframing from a negative tone, disrespectfully, spitefully or in a slanderous way. You have to ask yourself,” With what I am saying will it tear another person down?” Choose your words carefully when you speak of others or about yourself, and opt for solution-oriented complaining by having a purpose, and starting and ending the conversation positive. Complaining without a purpose is wasted time and energy.
- Expressing negativity does not make you feel better, it actually makes you feel worse.
Complaining alters your brain and mood for the worse, and gratitude or being thankful works the opposite way. When you repeat a behavior such as complaining, the neurons in your brain branch out to each other making it easier to repeat these behaviors in the future. Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Overtime you will find it is much easier to be negative than positive.
- Complaining damages your brain.
Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus-an area of the brain that’s critical for problem solving and intelligent thought.
- Complaining releases the stress hormone cortisol.
Cortisol shifts you into “flight or fight” mode, directing oxygen, blood and energy away from systems in your body essential to immediate survival. Extra cortisol released into your body impairs your immune system and makes you susceptible to heart disease and high cholesterol.
- Complaining distorts your thinking.
Complaining ensures that you see the worst in a particular situation, yourself or others, it then becomes hard to shift that perception. God desires that we see through His “lenses” or eyes not through our flawed perspectives.
- It is important to note that complaining is not the same as grieving, and complaining is not the same as speaking out against injustice, danger or when you stand for truth. There are also times we need the support of caring Christians when we go through distressing times for prayer and encouragement.
Make sure to subscribe to my blog where you can receive weekly articles straight into your inbox on conquering negative thinking @ www.stephaniereck.com
”Disciplining your mind 30 days to a better you!”by Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC
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