Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tips on How to Stop Whingeing and Whining


Some people have been whingeing and whining and my ears hurt. Not you of course. Not me either. It's always that 'other' person.

What is God's opinion of whingeing? How do you stop whingeing and whining? Below you'll find some tips on how to curb the grumbly nature.

Even if you are not a Christian, have a read of the following. Get a different perspective on grumbling.

It became apparent to me today, that in fact the Bible has quite a few instances of people whingeing and whining. Let's have a look specifically at three stories in the Bible:

Genesis 26:19-22 - Isaac Re-digs the Wells
19 Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20 But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. 21 Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. [Sitnah means opposition] 22 He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”

In Isaac's time, a deep well full of water, was a source of influence. People were whingeing and whining about who owned the wells. Interestingly that Isaac speaks of 'flourishing in the land', after people had stopped whingeing! What can we learn from this? Is it that God will allow us to flourish if we do not whinge?

Exodus 16:1-8
The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” 8 Moses also said, “You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.”

You have a sense of the graciousness of God in this situation. The Lord heard the grumbling. The Lord heard the constant complaining. Even despite all this whingeing, God chooses to be gracious and provide for the Israelites. Talk about a patient God! I do not think this passage encourages us to whinge in order to receive from God, but rather gives us a clear picture of the grace and patience of God.

Nehemiah 4:10-14
10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”

11 Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”

12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”

13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

Nehemiah is seeking to rally the troops and rebuild the walls around his home city, Jerusalem. Not only does Nehemiah have to deal with those outside the area fighting against him (Sanballat, Tobiah and others), but he has to content with whingers from within the camp. Maybe they lacked faith? Maybe they were concerned about their well-being? Either way, they were whingeing and whining.

What was Nehemiah's response? Did Nehemiah step onto the band-wagon and start saying, 'You know what, you're right guys, we are under attack. Let's step back and have a whine. In fact, let's start a focus group and establish our whingeing with a chairman and secretary to take minutes.' No. Nehemiah, continued on with the vision placed in front of him, despite the grumbling. There's a leadership lesson right there!

*****

We could think of other stories in Bible about grumbling and whining. What about the story in Acts 6 about the Greek and Hebrew women and the whingeing about the distribution of food?

What seems to be the biblical consensus?

When we glean into these passages about God's view of grumbling, we have the sense that God is pleased with those who rise above the whining. God seems more concerned with Nehemiah rebuilding the walls, or Moses leading the people into the promised land, or Isaac actually re-digging the wells. God's perspective in a sense is less on our problems and issues, but on working through the issues to come up with a solution!

God did not whinge and whine about the sinfulness of humanity. He simply sent Jesus.

How do you stop whingeing and whining? What are the best tips?

Take a Godly perspective. Look beyond your current situation. Look to the potential. Understand God has better days in store.

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