Complaint Department Closed

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

An older lady had never flown on an airplane. Her children bought a ticket to a nearby city where some of her friends lived. On the day of the flight she entered the plane with great excitement and anticipation.

When she settled into her seat, she noticed that the upholstery was slightly soiled. Complaining, she moved to another seat, but here she started complaining about a baby crying across from her. She then moved to the rear of the cabin, but now she complained that it was too hot.

She was about to change seats for the third time when the flight attendant announced that the passengers should prepare for landing. The lady sat up and said, “Well, if I had known the trip would be so short, I wouldn’t have spent so much time complaining.” Suggestion – don’t spend your time complaining – the trip may be short.

At a Women of Faith conference recently, more women showed up than expected. They needed 150 more chairs. The staff tried to solve the problem by using very narrow chairs. Every woman had a place to sit, but everyone was crowded and started complaining.

Joni Earekson Tada, the speaker for the evening, asked if she could speak to the crowd. She was perfectly qualified to do so. A childhood diving accident had left Joni wheelchair bound.

She rolled onto the platform and said, “I understand some of you don’t like the chair in which you are sitting. Neither do I. But I have a thousand handicapped friends who would gladly trade places with you in an instant.” Hey, the complaining ceased immediately. You see, it’s easy to complain about something insignificant when we ought to be celebrating God’s significant blessings.

Holly Butcher developed an extremely rare form of terminal cancer. Before she died she wrote, “Life is fragile, precious, unpredictable, and each day is a gift. Don’t waste time complaining. You might have gotten caught in bad traffic today, or had bad sleep because the baby kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short – that’s time wasted. I promise you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go.”

Many large department stores have a complaint department where they receive complaints. Some people just enjoy visiting the complaint counter. It’s time to close that counter and the entire department!

A suggestion – take all of your complaints today and type them out in capital letters on the back of a postage stamp. You’re permitted as many complaints as you can put on the stamp. Lick the stamp, and put it on any piece of paper, and put the paper in the trash can!

Paul says, “Do everything without whining or complaining so that you may become blameless and pure…then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” (Philippians 2:14-16) Paul knows that we have 2 choices. We can either complain and whine or we can celebrate and shine!

Complain or celebrate – whine or shine – it’s your choice!


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