I have noticed that the vast majority of complaints are unworthy of being taken seriously. The unworthiness has to do with the fact that the complaints typically come from “frequent flyers,” and the complainant hasn’t done the necessary prerequisite work of scrutinizing themselves and discerning an edifying way to convey their concern. The result is that the plaintiff is an irritating menace, and nothing constructive is accomplished.
This is one of the biggest problems in the world. Therefore, complaint training is sorely needed!
So, without further ado… whenever you feel inclined to complain, first ask yourself the following series of questions:
- Have I humbled myself? (Matthew 18:4) How, specifically, did I humble myself? How do I know that I am now truly humbled (what’s different about me now compared to the way I was before humbling myself)? What emphatic motifs in Scripture prove that I am now humble enough to complain?
- Have I removed the hypocrisy from my life? (Matthew 7:2-5; 8-9) Am I seriously ready for the scrutiny I am applying to someone else to be applied to me?
- Have I thoroughly run my complaint by God? (Psalm 55:2, 17; 64:1; 142:2; Habakkuk 2:1)
- Have I read Revelation by Flannery ‘O Connor within the past 2 or 3 days?
- Have I considered how Gandalf, Dumbledore, Atticus Finch, Master Oogway, Dr. Elwin Ransom, and/or Brandon Hawkes would conduct themselves if they were me?
- Have I empathized with how the speck in my brother’s eye is painful to him?
- Have I read Unoffendable by Brant Hansen within the past couple of weeks?
- Have I considered the possibility that I’m complaining simply because I have too much time on my hands? (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
- How is my complaint, and the way in which I present my complaint, certain to have a constructive and joy-centric impact? (2 Corinthians 1:24)
- Have I approached the accused one-on-one? (Matthew 18:15)
- Do I have establishable charges that can be corroborated by no fewer than 2 witnesses? (Matthew 18:16; 1 Samuel 24:8-15)
- Have I thoroughly come to grips with the fact within the specific context of Jesus talking about legitimate complaints and confrontation He points out that my brother will relapse (i.e. he won’t change as much, or as fast, as I want him to) and I am commanded to keep forgiving my brother from the heart ‘seventy-seven times’? (Matthew 18:22, 35)
Now …you’re ready! Complain away!