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Fasting from complaining: 9 reasons why church leaders might want to try it

May 08, 2013

The weeks between Easter and Pentecost are more of a time for church leaders to celebrate than fast. But I'm thinking about fasting as a spiritual practice. While fasting from food has its place, I think a fast from complaining is worth a try. I'm committing to it.

Here are nine reasons to try fasting from complaints:

1. Complaining gets us nowhere. We rarely take action about the things we complain about. And if they are out of our control, complaining about them doesn't help us come to terms with them.
2. It reinforces our negative attitude toward people. We'll find it harder to notice the things to appreciate.
3. It takes time. That hour-long gripe session might actually have moved you toward some of your goals.
4. It's unbiblical. The New Testament has a good deal to say about how we use language and talk about others. (Phil. 2:14, "Do all things without murmuring and arguing.")
5. It makes us feel bad. There might be a moment of short-term relief, but complaining about something or someone just reminds us of the problem.
6. Complaining is a habit. Habits can be changed, and fasting is one way to work on it.
7. It sets a bad example for those we lead. When we're complaining to those we lead, whether it's about society at large or an individual staff person or church member, we communicate that complaining at church is acceptable.
8. You don't have to give it up forever, just give it a try. A week-long or month-long fast from complaining can be an experiment.
9. You might find you like it!


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