(This is the second part in a series of posts on some thoughts on learning and teaching others not to complain.)
Last night we celebrated the birthday of one of my nephews. We ate together at a wonderful restaurant, where the food was amazing! After we ate, my brother-in-law asked each of us to say 3 words that described my nephew. He gave us some time to think, and then we shared. We could tell why we chose those 3 words after saying them. After we had gone around the table and shared our 3 words, my nephew was asked to share one word describing each person.
This was a very fun birthday activity! (Kind of like TLs!)
This exercise brought my thoughts back to what I’d been pondering all day–not complaining. I considered how this nephew, who is very reserved, had just endured a major accident this summer (broken his femur in a wave running accident, only a year after enduring a brain tumor surgery and recovery) yet never complained or even talked about it. He just went about living and running his business with his brother.
I also thought about my husband, Lane, who never complains about me. To know and live so closely with someone who never complains is a great motivator to wanting to develop that attribute! We’ve been married 24 years, and I am still learning not to complain, but I think I might be learning to catch myself more often and change my behavior. I am certainly more aware and want more to not complain. This, in turn, helps me be a better teacher of not complaining to our children.
People who follow the Savior and exemplify Christlike attributes have a powerful impact in our lives, don’t they? It seems to me that they are the ones that the Holy Ghost can whisper to us to say, “That is what it means to be like Jesus and not complain.”
I was just trying to find a verse from the Book of Mormon and asked Julia, and she had just read it yesterday! Don’t you love how the Lord works? Here is the verse (This is where the prophet Abinadi is quoting Isaiah to the wicked priests of King Noah.):
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he opened not his mouth. (Mosiah 14:7)
Christ suffered so much for us–and he didn’t “deserve” any punishment, as he was perfect. Yet he didn’t complain for one second–not in his mind or heart nor in any word–about having to bear our burdens. This is the standard he set for not murmuring, not complaining about life.
That’s such a high bar! I’d love to be able to get there someday, and someday–in eternity!–I will, if I keep trusting Him to help me get there, if I keep asking for grace to be able to learn not to complain, and as I gain strength to do so from the good examples of people around me, like my husband and nephew.