Mark Batterson does it, too, in In a Pit with a Lion. He uses Complainers and Worshipers. For horizontal relationships, I use Complainers and Encouragers.
I began noticing the difference the most when I needed encouragement myself. In consciously seeking it, I was often surprised at who excelled at giving encouragement. And who didn’t.
So now whenever I go through times of stress, I know who I need to hang around more for positive, spiritual encouragement. And who to avoid. It makes a difference.
A bigger problem though is in which category I have to place myself. Both. I don’t want to be a complainer, but I know sometimes I am. It’s ugly. A bitter edge is never attractive.
Over the season of lent, I committed to fast from complaining. I failed.
But I succeeded in better learning what triggers it for me. And maybe how to resist it a little more with the help of Christ’s Spirit. I want my first impulse to be to encourage others. And to worship God. Categories worth aspiring to.
The Practicing Church features this clip on their blog today about religious innovation. But I use it here to demonstrate (and laugh at) how ridiculous our complaining often is.
Comedian Louis C.K. on The Conan O’Brien Show: