Friday, July 18, 2014

Distinction: Complaining vs. Honesty

There is a difference between complaining and honestly stating one's feelings. Complaints are not edifying for anyone, frequently encourage gossip or detraction, and reveal an implicit distrust in God's Providence. In sum, complaints are destructive acts.

The honest stating of one's feelings, either in an interaction with another person or in prayer with God, is a necessary condition for growing in humility and witnessing to the Truth, for honestly stating one's feelings should lead to trusting more deeply in God, Who loves us infinitely, and working constructively to find solutions to the problem(s) that have caused those feelings in the first place. Honesty is constructive.

Furthermore, whereas a complaint is an unconscious cry to be loved—in other words, the act of an infant who seeks the nurturing presence of its mother, honesty is the explicit expression of maturity—the act of an adult individual who, while finite and not impervious, can become vulnerable in such a way as to offer the chance of redemption between an offender and a victim. It is by way of "softness" or vulnerability, which is founded on honesty, that a malicious act or an accident may be recognized as such, the opportunity for reconciliation may arise, and amendment of life may occur. If a person simply complains, the shunning of honest interaction can lead only to a hardening of hearts and a further isolation of one individual from the other and, depending on the size of the circumstance, a group of people from another group.

Finally, honesty is necessary in one's prayer life because only by opening up to God can we grow closer to Him. He knows how we are even if we don't tell Him, but it is important for us that we open our hearts up rather than harden and shut them off, for in the measure that we give ourselves to Him by opening ourselves up to Him in trust, so does God give Himself to us.

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