Staff Editorial: Stop complaining, start appreciating

The Chimes staff tackles the issue of complaining on campus.

Alan+Turkus+%2F+Creative+Commons

Alan Turkus / Creative Commons

Chimes Staff, Writer

Alan Turkus / Creative Commons

It seems that everywhere we go, there is something to complain about. Even on Biola’s campus, where we have been extremely blessed, we tend to lose sight of Paul’s urging to do everything without grumbling. How many times, though, have you heard somebody complain about the Caf food, the chapel requirement or campus Internet — just to name a few? We often do not realize how many people would love to be in our shoes as Biolans.

One must simply wonder why a student would choose to attend Biola in the first place if all they do is whine about not getting everything they want, when they want it. The problem is not really a shortage of services, but a spirit of entitlement that drives this negativity throughout our campus. There needs to be a campus-wide wake up call to eradicate the lies we allow ourselves to believe. Our words carry weight. If we are to truly become transformed by Christ in order to impact the world for his glory, we must shatter this sense of entitlement and complaining from our hearts and mouths.

COMPLAINING AFFECTS RELATIONSHIPS

When we complain, we often do so in two ways: 1) casually and briefly when someone brings up a common topic of frustration and 2) in the form of a long rant, usually in the company of a good friend. What is interesting to note about these situations is that our complaining occurs in the company of others. Therefore, when we choose to list off all the reasons why we are frustrated with our new iPhone, we directly affect the opinions and attitudes of those around us.

Have you ever noticed how if one person starts complaining about the food, or even teachers, at Biola, others will join in? That’s because we are indirectly communicating to our friends and fellow students that it is okay to be dissatisfied with our circumstances — and sometimes it is permissible. But as Christians, we should never encourage one another to practice ungratefulness when we have so much to be thankful for — whether it is the bed we sleep on or our redemption in Jesus Christ.

Choosing to frequently make ourselves and others aware of small inconveniences and nuisances in daily life does not help us cultivate a Christ-like perspective. After all, Christians are commanded to rejoice many times in the Bible. How does complaining, then, enable us to foster joy in our hearts for all the blessings in our lives, when all we focus on is the lack of decent movies on Netflix?

A PLACE FOR CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

While complaining on the whole is not a positive attitude with which to approach the world, there are times when delivering constructive complaints can be necessary. When presented in a loving and gracious way, complaints can affect Biola in ways it needs to be affected. Being honest and forthcoming in our class evaluations at the end of the semester is one way we can incite good change without resorting to petty nitpicking.

Many of us are extremely blessed to be able to attend Biola, and we often forget how God has provided for us. Complaining about Caf food, library hours, parking permits and chapel opportunities means we are disregarding what God has done for us and choosing only to focus on the negatives.

A step in the right direction involves a change of mindset. The sooner we chose to craft our words in a positive and constructive way, the sooner we distance ourselves from the ungrateful mentality of complaining.

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