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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #62 --- Complaining
Quotations on Complaining
Complainers are people who are just unhappy. They are experts at finding fault with everybody and everything except themselves. Included in this group are people who feel guilty for their personal misdeeds. They find it easy to criticize others or public institutions, in order to take attention away from their own sins, and therefore, spend their time belittling others. These people are sometimes called neurotics. They expect everybody to come to them at the slightest call. They do not give of themselves, but they expect a great deal from others. They show little or no gratitude, but are extremely demanding.
—Harold L. Hawkins, Baptist Hospital Echo, Alexandria, La., January 1962.
We ought not to complain, for it is fruitless. Complaint may take the form of bitter murmuring. This is seldom logical, and daring enough to curse God to His face. But many who shrink from that allow themselves to be permanently soured by their troubles. Again it takes the form of selfish fits, which rots the fiber of the soul, and makes mentally for selfishness. To complain is clearly wrong, for it implies an assertion of rights which no sinner can make, and a condemnation of God’s wisdom and love. ... It is utterly un-Christlike.
—Harold Peters, Wanganui Chronicle, Wanganui, New Zealand, March 27, 1899.
A mule may be a good puller and a hard kicker, but when he is kicking he is not pulling. Many men are like the mule, but they spend so much of their time kicking that the world knows them as soreheads rather than as good producers. Make your worth of first importance, not your objections.
—A.J. Gearheard, Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., June 29, 1919.
Complaint is the language of failure. It is the utterance of self-pity. The only trade in which a failure can be successful is faultfinding. In that occupation, the less your ability, the sharper your triumph.
—Carlysle H. Holcomb, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Dec. 12, 1953.
The man who is always complaining because he is never noticed is usually covered up with so much pride he cannot be seen.
—Dewey O. Miller, Wesleyan Young People's Journal, Syracuse, N.Y., April 1943.
Complaining about things in the home destroys its harmony and sweetness, and after all this complaining is done chiefly by those who don't know that they are doing it. It has become a habit. Don't nag one another. Don't nag the children; for this nagging is torture–prolonged torture.
—J.S. Sowers, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., May 22, 1911.
Grumbling is a very common vice. It is so easy to find fault. It requires no particular genius to complain. But those who take it upon themselves to make objections should always be sure they are right before they open their mouths or rush into print.
—Charles W. Penrose, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 15, 1881.
The prayers of a grumbling Christian never become more than mumblings in the ears of God.
—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Jan. 18, 1922.
A grumbling Christian gives evidence that he is not walking in the light.
—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Nov. 13, 1924.
A pious whine is the devil's wine.
—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 26, 1925.
You can't tune in with the Infinite with the static of a whine.
—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., July 7, 1924.
You can't tune a whine with the Infinite, but a song of courage has its answer there.
—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Dec. 1, 1923.
If some people ever get to heaven, the first thing they will look for is the complaint department.
—Roy E. Gibson, Nephi Times-News, Nephi, Utah, July 26, 1951.
An ounce of cooperation is worth a pound of complaints.
—Roy L. Smith, Christian Advocate, Chicago, Ill., May 27, 1948.
The happy man is not one who knows no pain, but one who spends no time complaining.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 7, 1931.
If we begin to complain we soon fill the skies with clouds.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., April 21, 1934.
The habit of complaining will ruin any joy.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., May 24, 1935.
Burdens become heavier when we begin to complain about them.
—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., June 27, 1935.
Complaint soon changes into criticism. Criticism curdles into cynicism. Cynicism is a bomb which may at any time explode into hate. ... Complaining discontent shows a lack of positive faith in Christ and a steak of selfish egoism in the soul.
—Oliver G. Wilson, The Wesleyan Methodist, Syracuse, N.Y., Nov. 7, 1956.
Frequently people think they are sick, they complain and declare themselves completely miserable when all that ails them is idleness. If suddenly a situation developed in which they would have to work and word hard in concentrated effort they would be forced to discover that they were not sick at all. Idleness breeds misery. The complaining person adds to his own wretchedness and creates misery around him. And in seven cases out of ten all he needs is some hard work.
—Grove Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Feb. 27, 1930.
We humans reveal our weaknesses in many ways. Perhaps most often of all we show our weakness in a complaining attitude toward our surroundings. The habit of complaining is a sad and dangerous one and hard to break. It grows on some people until they become hopelessly tiresome. The attitude of complaint has not so much to do with our situation in life as it has with a mere habit of thinking. Many who, in the opinion of their friends, seem to have the most to make them unhappy complain the least. Others who apparently have every reason for contentment and happiness complain the most. There is but one way to cure ourselves of the habit of complaining and that is to "pull ourselves together." There are times in life when a man must literally take hold of himself and force his thinking out of wrong channels and into right ones.
—Grove Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., March 26, 1930.
The constant "griper" expresses displeasure at every turn of the clock, in regard to conditions under which he labors, or the sequence of all events. Anything that the "boss" does is always wrong, conditions in the office or business are terrible, and in general, according to his thoughts everything is in one "hell of a mess." This type of person will remain anchored in his tracks until he mends his ways. Advancement passes him by, and laughs at his stupidity. His associates in the business world soon hate to be thrown in contact with him, and dodge him every time the opportunity is presented. His loyalty to the "boss" is seriously doubted, and the outsider has little or no respect for him due to the fact that he is always criticizing his superiors and "biting the hand that feeds him." By his remarks and actions he becomes an ingrate, and an individual of this type is no good to his organization, family, or himself.
—Howard D. Strother, The New Era, Eunice, La., March 5, 1937.
Some people are never happy unless they are miserable. Their lives or gall ducts or some other parts inside are, evidently, always "out of whack." If they smile they seem to regret it a moment afterward, and their very presence brings a cloud to those about them and cools down laughter and fun as quickly as a slack tub cools down hot iron in a blacksmith shop.
Usually, such folks are given to what is now commonly called "griping." They delight in griping and telling of their troubles, their lives being out of order, or being bilious, or how many operations they have had or how near they came dying and finally wind up telling you that nobody in the world has had a hard time and as wretched experiences as they have had. Poor things! And they are disappointed because they didn't die. Really, that's a fact some people pine away with disappointment because they did not die years ago. But they don't realize that their bored friends and associates are, perhaps, more disappointed about it than they are.
Griping is a disease, a chronic malady, hard to cure, but never fatal. We don't believe it is laid down in the doctor books; but it ought to be. It might be classed as one of the worst diseases to which human flesh is heir, for it produces so much misery and unhappiness in the land, and makes so many people an unpleasantness in the griper's company. Many of these pests gripe when they don't realize it; they don't think they are griping, but their friends and associates know better.
Gripers see nothing about the rose but the thorns, and nothing but the hole in the doughnut. They are never community builders, nor leaders in anything that builds up the country. But when it comes to whining they can beat a whole litter of hungry pigs with the fence between them and the slop-trough.
—Emmett J. Lee, The Gazette, Farmerville, La., June 6, 1934.
Half the misery and trouble experienced in this world comes from the imagination of the sufferer. There are some people on the earth who are continually grumbling, who can see nothing that suits them, who have always what they call “bad luck.” If we were to believe them, they would impress us with the idea that nature really has given to them a greater share of the ills of life than to other more fortunate individuals. In a certain sense they are right; but nature has not given it to them, they have brought it upon themselves, which is the same in result. The person who is thus disposed sees no blessing that is not mingled with a curse. It is true, every rose has its thorn; but why should we pass by the beauty and finer fragrance of the flower to mourn and fret about its stinging thorns? Why grope and weep in darkness when God has given us the smiling sunlight? Why grieve over the somber scenes of approaching night, when we have the ascending sun of morn to cheer and light our pathway?
A person thus disposed will always look at the ills of life, no matter how thick his path may be set with the perils of peace, pleasure and good. ...
Give us the man who in all adversity can still see a glimmer of sunshine, who in the darkest night of trouble can still show you the hope that leads to day. There is but little trouble in the world except what we make. We do not mean to carry the idea that there are not times when men will be tried. Clouds will show themselves and hang darkly over the earth even if they have silvery linings. So also will the clouds of sorrow hang over men, dark hours will appear, deep troubles will come; yet in all these a bright side may be found if only search is made, and it is the man who can turn even the worst disasters to serve a cheerful disposition that will live the longest, enjoy life the most, and crown at last his efforts with brilliant victory.
By all means enjoy life which its bright side appears, and when its hours of darkness come with its weariness, its partings, heartaches and woes, seek for the brightest spot and find pleasure in the search.
We need not be wild and careless of the sorrows and trials of our fellowmen, but it should be remembered that even as “the drying up of a single tear has more of honest fame than shedding seas of gore,” so has a cheerful word, spoken with a pleasant spirit, more of soothing joy than volumes of despondent grumbling. ...
The Spirit of God delights to dwell in the heart that is buoyant with hope, and men delight to be in the company of the cheerful. The grumbler and the discontented will neither merit the mercies of God nor the approbation of his fellows.
—Edward H. Anderson, Contributor, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 1884.
There [is] the story in [the] fairy tale book that [tells] of the ugly stepsister out of whose mouth jumped a toad frog for every time she uttered a word, and also our keen dislike and disgust for her unloveliness.
Sometimes I think we who have acquired the complaining habit–filling our days with petty complainings of this thing, and that thing, and everything under the sun--bear a strong resemblance in point of unloveliness to this maiden of fairy tale fame.
We who fill our days with narrowminded faultfinding and discontent surely cannot realize what an awful nuisance and bore we are to others, nor can we realize just how delightful is the cheerful person whose outlook upon life is bright and sunny and whose days are days of content and joy, for if we did we'd mend our ways.
Discontent is a habit that leads us into the ways of everlasting complaining, just as content is a habit that we may cultivate if we wish, and cultivation of content and cheerfulness is a duty we owe to ourselves and each other.
Joy is the sunshine of the heart, and cheerfulness and mirth bring into blossom for ourselves and others all the sweet blossoms of content.
Don't be an ugly stepsister type. Don't let something disagreeable jump out of your mouth every time you utter a word. Cheer up! Get the sunshine habit and you'll be happy because you will get the lovely reflection from the sunshine you carry with you into the lives of others."
—Harriot Russell, Houston Daily Post, Houston, Texas, June 7, 1917.