Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Complaining Makes You Dumb!

in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. -- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NASB95)
Now here's an interesting take on the need for gratitude (aside from the hundreds of biblical injunctions of course). The magazine Inc. ran an article titled "Listening to Complainers Is Bad for Your Brain." Apparently neuroscientists have learned to measure brain activity when faced with various stimuli, including a long gripe session. And the news isn't good. The article summarizes the research: "Being exposed to too much complaining can actually make you dumb. Research shows that exposure to 30 minutes or more of negativity—including viewing such material on TV—actually peels away neurons in the brain's hippocampus." That's the part of your brain you need for problem solving. So, basically, too much complaining (either listening to it or dishing it out) turns your brain to mush. The article provides three practical steps to avoid that negative, brain-numbing experience of complaining, but that advice can't top the Bible's simple command: "Give thanks in all circumstances". – PreachingToday.com
I have to admit that I got a good laugh out of this. I think I’m going to file it away where I can find it easily because I think it’s going to come in handy. I know some folks who are constant complainers! They just gripe and moan about everything. Now I can tell them they need to cut it out because it’s making them dumb, and I’ve got science to back me up.

Whether this is actually true or not remains to be seen, I suppose, but what I do believe is that complainers often miss the best things. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes a complaint is deserved, and might even result in change that brings better results or better experiences. That’s just true. What we’re talking about are the constant, drip - drip - drip - drip complainers. Those folks can depress everyone around them.

But the more important thing is that complainers are actually disobeying God. You did not misunderstand me. Scripture teaches us to give thanks in everything. There are two very important words in that statement. Thanks. Everything. Three if you want to count the word “give”. Thanks does not good if we just hang on to it. Thanks must be given away, and God says do that in everything. Next time you are tempted to complain about something, give a thought to whether you’re disobeying God.