Social media today is awash with whining, grumbling and complaining. So much so that a friend recently was begging her online friends to go back to posting boring pictures of meals or feet in the sand rather than all the political diatribes.
The Hebrew term for “murmuring” literally means to stop somewhere and spend the night. It’s the concept of continuing to be obstinate with our complaints. Expressing an opinion is one thing, endless blathering is another.
With an eye for some personal correction, this week might be a good time to look at two proverbs that speak to this issue:
Proverbs 13:3 “The one who guards his mouth preserves life, the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
Proverbs 31:26 “She opens her mouth in wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
One the one hand, the Bible is letting us know that whining or grumbling is a destructive behavior. It erodes our character and affects everyone around us, especially any children within the sound of our voices.
The apostle James uses the illustration of controlling a strong willed horse as an example when he tells us to bridle our tongue. Put a rope on it. Rein it in. Slow it down. Show some self-control with our speech.
And instead, we are urged to think through what we say, before we say it. To seek wisdom in our communication and show compassion as we express our opinions. We need to remember that we are dialoging with friends, or potential friends. A gentle spirit is called for.
A friend has a sign in her kitchen that might help us all. It reads, “Kindness spoken here.”
You might not have a painted wooden sign in your home or office, but even a post-it note reminder would help. Stick one in your car, on your desk, on the refrigerator and definitely on your computer screen.
Let’s stop whining! Kindness spoken here.