This post is riding off the back of Allamagoosa’s post as well as some of the discussions on Free Northerner’s and Donalgraeme’s.
I’ve stated before that I think man up is one of the useful tenents in the manosphere in terms of motivating men to do what they are supposed to do. But it’s not useful in regard to women.
The point that gets glossed over is that complaining is indeed a sin. For example, here’s only a few verses from the Scriptures that talk about complaining:
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
James 5:9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
1 Peter 4:9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Numbers 11:1-4 And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Then the people cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire died down. So the name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of the Lord burned among them. Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat!
1 Corinthians 10:10 Nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.
Exodus 16:8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Psalm 106:25 They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord.
In cases where men complain, it is up to men to tell other men to man up and not complain. When women do it they are going to be seen as “nagging” and “bitchy” no matter what their intentions. Even so, women are to address this topic with their Christian brothers via Matthew 18, so choose your words carefully.
Likewise, sensitive issues need to be discussed in the manosphere in terms of the difficulty that Christian men and women who are looking to be married face. This is where I suggest that many posts should be prefaced with statements so as not to be seen as complaining. For example, “This has been my observation that…” or “This has been my experience of difficulties…” so as to state that you’re not complaining about it but rather bringing up a topic that needs to be discussed.
This is why I tend to stay away from the “woe is me” or “hardships of Christian men/women” topics now because it’s very easy for them to devolve into complaining fests.
One of the areas of which I am convicted is in terms of my fact that I verbalize my displeasure with certain situations in life. I do this because it’s oddly stress relieving, and I do this with myself without other people around as well. However, I realize that what I say can be taken as complaining and that it is in fact discouraging to others that hear it.
The stress relieving part is good, but the fact that if it affects other negatively as per the Ephesians verse should make me watch my words: Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. I need to consider not just myself but others as well in how I speak and act. Thus, finding another potential outlet for stress relief would be good, because to be seen as a complainer (even if you’re not trying to be) will toe the line of sin. We are not to even give the appearance of evil as believers.
Not to mention the fact that complainers are seen as whiners, crybabies and unattractive.
Ironically, as I was publishing this post, wordpress screwed up and deleted the whole thing. I was initially angry and frustrated and started to complaining to myself that I had to type the whole thing up again. But then I realized what I was writing about and was convicted again. In typing this up again it was my experience that the point further solidified in my mind after a period of frustration and overcoming that frustration so it was beneficial after all.
Don’t complain or even give the appearance of complaining because it’s a sin. Instead, be at peace, joyful, and with thanksgiving in all circumstances. It is in those hard difficult times where you do the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do that your witness is strong.