The Microcomplaint: Is it Christian to complain?

Last week, just prior to taking a business trip,  a friend shared an article from the New York Times entitled The Microcomplaint: Nothing Too Small to Complain About.

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It really challenged me to examine my heart. Do I have a posture of complaint or of gratitude? As I boarded the plane, I decided to adopt an attitude of gratitude and compassion, which is not necessarily easy when you are sitting next to a baby for 5 hours. However, God took that opportunity to show me something amazing– a compassionate grandmother flying with her baby grandson, whom she had cared for for a month so her daughter, a single-mother, could finish her senior year in college. I am grateful that that young mother chose life, that that grandmother is standing in the gap for her daughter, and that I had the opportunity to enjoy that beautiful boy for 5 hours (something I don’t get to do very often now that my kids are big).  I wish I could say that I was completely grateful and wasn’t annoyed or tempted to complain during the flight about the fellow passenger who was painting her nails (which I am now microcomplaining about).  I am, however,  now convicted about ungodly habit of complaining.  I have found this prayer by Samuel Pugh a helpful corrective for me:

Help Me Thanksgiving Day Prayer

O God, when I have food,

help me to remember the hungry;

When I have work,

help me to remember the jobless;

When I have a home,

help me to remember those who have no home at all;

When I am without pain,

help me to remember those who suffer,

And remembering,

help me to destroy my complacency;

bestir my compassion,

and be concerned enough to help;

By word and deed,

those who cry out for what we take for granted.

Amen.