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Complaining drains your faith

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Anne Anjao-Eboi | May 5th 2014

By Anne Anjao-Eboi

This article was born out of an experience in the offices of the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb). Anyone who has benefited from this great institution knows only too well that its headquarters must be one of the busiest places in Nairobi. Whenever I know I will pay them a visit, I prepare psychologically and carry work to do.

On this particular day, I duly filled in the required form and then sat back, prepared for a long wait. These people are serving an entire nation, so I exercise patience in their office.

But the man who sat next to me had no such intentions.

“These people will see me today. They are making unnecessary deductions from me; they are thieves!” he started.

I kept quiet. I didn’t want to engage in a conversation I had no idea about, and more so, to engage in complaining.

But he wouldn’t let me off so easily. This time, he looked me right in the face, and harped on about how inefficient Helb was, since he had seen people who had come after him being served.

I couldn’t keep silent any more. Actually, I became very irritated. In my heart and mind, I believed Helb officials were doing their best, given the huge numbers of visitors.

Leprosy

“For your information, I am here to collect my refund, and to get my clearance certificate,” I retorted.

But that did not shut the man up. Instead he went on and on about nothing really. I calmed down and just stared ahead.

Mercifully, my name was called a short while later, and as I left, I saw him engaging the woman who sat in the chair I had vacated. They seemed to be having an animated conversation.

Folks, Miriam received severe punishment (leprosy) for complaining about Moses on their way to Canaan. God takes the sin of murmuring seriously. He has commanded us to do all things without grumbling, faultfinding and complaining.

We need to know our words have the power of life or death in them — the way we speak really does matter. So it makes sense that we should avoid complaining.

Less intelligent

Not only is complaining a sin, but it also drains those exposed to it. Trevor Blake, author of Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life, shares research conducted by neuroscientists who state that being exposed to too much complaining can actually make you less intelligent. They say exposure to 30 minutes or more of negativity — including viewing such material on TV —peels away neurons in the hippocampus, the part of your brain you need for problem solving.

Complaining is dangerous business. It can damage or even destroy your relationship with God and other people. One scripture talks of it being better to stay on the corner of a roof than live with a nagging wife.

If you are the complaining type, determine to flee from it. How? Acknowledge your frustration and anger, look for solutions to the problem, change your view of the problem and stay positive by showing God some gratitude.

The moment you start complaining, remember you have taken your eyes off God.

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