Often when we go out for dinner the restaurant will provide a wine list along with the menu. From time to time, the server will suggest a particular wine that either goes with the meal we have ordered or one that is at a special price that evening. I don’t know that I’ve ever ordered wine with my meal, but I have perused the wine list and noted the varieties of brands and types and prices.
There’s a different kind of list with which most of us are far more familiar – a whine list. Each of us has one. There are things in our lives about which we tend to gripe and complain. We may find ourselves moaning and groaning about the traffic in Atlanta, the weather on the weekend, the higher than expected electric bill, or the fact that it’s Monday once more. Those closest to us can tell us exactly what the things are on our list, and we can tell them what is on theirs.
Let me give you some validation. Yes, people do dumb things. Yes, bad things happen and usually at the worst possible time. Yes, that person ought not act they way they act. I will acquiesce to the validity of your complaint; but I’ve learned that whining does not fix my problems, it just makes me look like a big baby.
So go get your whine list, tear it to little irretrievable bits, and commit to do something positive when you are inclined to whine. “What positive things?” you ask. Well, I’m glad you asked. I’d put praying at the top of the list. It becomes increasingly hard to whine about someone or something once you’ve taken it to God in prayer. He has a tendency to put things into perspective for us.
You may need to make a change in your life or your routine to remove or avoid that which tends to cause you to whine. You can unfriend that snarky person from your Facebook account. You can and should set proper boundaries with people at work and at school – and let them know about them. You can stop hanging around people who get on your nerves or refuse to quit that annoying habit that bothers you so much. Yes, there are some situations and people that you cannot or will not remove yourself from like your job, your spouse or your children, but in nearly every case there is something that you can do to trim your whine list down a bit.
The Bible calls us to “Do everything without grumbling and arguing” (Philippians 2:14). Instead we are called to “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Quit whining and start being grateful. It’s easy to do one and hard to do the other, but you will find that less whining and more gratitude makes you and the people around you happier!