Complainers are louder than complimenters


Ignore the barking dogs.

I had a funeral — without dying. It was a good experience.

When I had to leave Guatemala, all the church members gushed about my good qualities. My defects, which previously had dominated evaluations, got forgotten. Now I know what it’s like to die.

Critics in the church

Where flowers grow, weeds want to go.

This is the Yelp predicament. A disgruntled customer is highly motivated to post a comment. A satisfied one, not at all. Businesses have been sunk by this psychological phenomenon.

If you are given to criticizing others in the church, realize that:

  • criticism is not a calling, not a charge, not a gifting from God. It lines up more with what the accuser of the brethren (Satan) does.
  • you excuse and justify your own faults.
  • you blow out of proportion your own merits.
  • you probably are unaware of all kinds of services and sacrifices made by the very person you’re criticizing.
  • the effects of your criticism will not advance the kingdom of God.
  • an ounce of compliment would do more good than a ton of criticism.
  • your criticism is probably motivated by envy and jealousy.
outreach San Diego

On outreach in San Diego, at one house they gave me bread. It was a nice little way for God to say, “Well done.”

If you take a lot of criticism, realize that:

  • Satan’s strategy is get you to stop your labors.
  • people throw stones at a tree with fruit (Spanish expression — to knock down fruit to eat, they throw stones. If the fruit tree is barren, no one throws stones at it.)
  • compliments mostly go unvoiced.
  • your life and ministry is in the hands of God, not of your critics.

30 responses to “Complainers are louder than complimenters

  1. Oh, what truth here. It is our human “negativity bias” that causes us to pay more attention to potential risks or dangers. God help us search for and keep on promoting the love of your son Jesus!!! Amen.

  2. yourothermotherhere

    Your points are well taken. I think they apply to everyone in every situation.

    As the Bible points out, if you feel that someone is doing something wrong, there is a correct way to rectify the situation (Matthew 18:15, 17), but never forgetting that we are to forgive many, many times as well (Matthew 18:21,22).

  3. Blessings to you,
    And thank you Lord, keep up the Godwork and I’m with you all the way. Praise God! Many blessings to you and yours.

  4. AMEN! I’ve certainly been on the receiving end of complaints, and I need to remember to keep up the compliments in dealing with others.

  5. VictoriaJoDean

    Too true – the best thing is to share the complaints with God and ask for His perspective – amazingly, His is far better than ours and at the same time takes the sting out of our problem. I’ve found this is so much easier than spouting off and then having to apologize!

  6. Excellent observation! Great thing to start a Monday with!

  7. While shopping at Walmart recently, I had an exceptionally helpful checker. She went out of her way to assist me and my elderly mom, and to ease my burdens of the grocery checkout process for the two of us. When I got home, I decided to call the store manager to express my appreciation and to give the employee praise. Took a while to get someone on the phone, but when I finally got through to her, the manager was shocked. She said that it blessed her so much that I had taken the time to call to compliment rather than the typical calls to complain. Thanks for the post today. Such a reminder of how easy it is to be a complainer.

  8. noordinaryjoy61

    If we stop to consider our motivations before we speak, if we regularly put ourselves in other people’s shoes, and if we pay attention to how many negatives we voice vs. positives, many criticisms will never be verbalized. Many Christians forget that the greatest commandment is to love, not to lash out.

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  10. Christian Living for Today Blog

    AMEN! This is pure truth. God bless you.

  11. How very true – and how many criticisers even realize it? Trouble is, people are being taught to listen to those complainers and bend over backwards to please them. I agree, businesses have gone down because of this – and I suspect so will nations if we keep trying to appease the complainers.

    Have you noticed how when you give in to one thing, they want more and more???

  12. According to Dr Larry Titus (author of the Teleios Man), He finds it very difficult to criticize, in fact, he hardly ever criticize but he’s the first to complement an effort, etc. I have adopted that technique and also learnt that whatever anyone says about me does not matter until i accept it or deny it. I am who God says i am… Those who know their God, Know who they are. (Daniel 11:32 [paraphrased])

  13. Very good words, indeed. A much needed lesson for us all.

  14. Dr. Timothy Keller said we can’t dispense judgment because we don’t have the omniscient perspective of God. We just don’t know everything behind everyone’s story. Your post brought to mind something I wrote on WORDS:

    Thank you for the hearty support of my writing. You sure practice what you preach, about giving with no expectation of return. Blessings.

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