Walking across a street, with a clear sign that I had the right-of-way, a cab came close, inches, from hitting me. He grinded to a halt in time (just inches from my knees) and momentarily we just stared at each other, but I didn’t hang around long as I had to catch a train. Afterward, I felt bitter toward the taxi driver and I felt justified in complaining about him. Soon, I caught this way of thinking and turned around the angry energy, into a consecrated effort to give praise, by thanking God for the accident that didn’t happen. By turning my thought toward good and acknowledging God’s care for me, I soon felt peace and felt free of any burden of anger, and I felt a calm that led toward forgiveness.
Complaints are burdensome, costly, and venomous
When we complain we’re holding on to something thing that’s heavy and burdensome. We’re not really just venting—we’ve bought into something that’s ugly — about ourselves or others. We might even think the complaint is legit, right? A boss, someone who cut you off on the road, a comment your family member shared. Complaints taint thought with venom through anger and hate. Whatever it is your moaning about, ask yourself, “Does this thought give praise to God, good? Is this a thought that sounds eternal and God-like?”
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
—Jerermiah 29:11 (KJV)
Praise is free(dom), uplifting, and healing
So how do we turn these complaining thoughts around? For me, it starts with praise — giving praise to God. Praise can be expressed in prayer, gratitude, joy, and song, to name a few. Christ Jesus showed us time and again that praise moves us and thought out of what’s wrong and evil, to what’s right and holy. The one infinite God, is also the one infinite Mind — the infinite source of all intelligence and goodness. Christian Science reveals that God is Mind, and we reflect this divine Mind, God, so really our thoughts come from one source — God. It’s natural for us to express God’s goodness through joy and praise, rather than complaints and anger.
the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
—Phillippians 4:7 (KJV)
Hold in thought only what you want there forever
It may not seem like it, but a complaint is a hot potato. If you hold on to it, it sears you and causes discomfort. If you voice your complaints your passing it to others and it does them an unkindness as well. Did you know that one of the antonym’s for complaint is health? It makes sense to realize complaints are also a form of sickness—sick thoughts. This helps illustrate what thoughts are worth thinking — hopeful, kind, and health-giving ideas. Even if and when anger seems justified, it’s not! Turn that negative energy around. Turn thought to God, divine Love (the opposite of anger and hate), whose power destroys all animosity, even hidden evil. Love’s power operates on your behalf and uplifts you and your thought. Through Love’s power, we can be healed of every one of our complaints — confusion, anger, sickness, and sin.
The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love.
—Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.1