Are you lifting people up or are they lifting you up?
I realize that this is a more complex issue than the question implies, but as a trend, are you the influencer or the influencee?
There are a few of my friends that seem like every second thing they say is a complaint about the way things are. Their opportunities, the weather, their parents, their clothes, their health. Everything that's not "amazing" ends up ruining their day.
There are a few of my friends that encourage me immensely by their constant good attitude. Everything that's going well they are thankful for, and the things that don't go well don't matter at all because they're standing on a rock so firm they'll never be shaken.
Ephesians 5:20 says that we are to give thanks "always for all things" which means we're supposed to somehow give thanks for things we don't like.
I don't see any thing in the Bible that gives us a license to complain no matter how bad our situation is. In Job when God heard complaining He gave Job chapters and chapters of rebuke. Jesus said in His sermon on the mount, "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven."
If you're constantly down in the dumps over something wether it be small or large, you're not living according to how the Bible says we ought to live. And what will happen is you'll be the weight that your friends have to lift off of the ground every day, instead of being a lifter for someone else.
How do you know what category you're in? How do you know if you're a pro or a con? Here are a few tips:
- Can you point to 5 people in your life that you encourage on a regular basis? Or 5 people that you can't wait to complain to?
- Check out your last 10-20 facebook statuses. Were they "Valentines Day Sucks" or "I hate all this snow"?
- When you talk with someone, what's the first subject you discuss? Is it how busy or tired you are from this, that and the other thing? Or is it filled with thankfulness and joy?
- Do you use scripture in an encouraging way or just to prove your point?
- Is your conversation me-centered or you-centered?
As a parting thought, James 1 says "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials." So the point that you are the most joyous, should be the point that you feel the most tried. That's a tall order.