DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why do some people always complain about things, no matter how insignificant they are? My cousin is like this, and I admit I get tired of listening to her. Is it just her personality? I wish she were a happier person, but I don’t know how to help her. — Y.M.
DEAR Y.M.: Some people do seem to take delight in complaining about how bad things are (or so they claim). I admit I’ve never quite understood why they’re always so negative, and it can, indeed, get tiresome. The Bible says, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing” (Philippians 2:14).
When your cousin complains about something, perhaps you could be positive and optimistic by pointing out the other side. Yes, sometimes things do go wrong, but not always, and you could point out examples from the past that show this. You could also take the initiative, not waiting for her to come up with something negative, but expressing hope and optimism. Don’t argue with her but do take advantage of opportunities to be more optimistic.
The most important thing you can do, however, is to point your cousin to Christ and urge her to put her life into his hands. When we know him, we know the future is in God’s hands, and no matter what happens, we can trust him. The Bible says, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? … Put your hope in God” (Psalm 42:11).
Be patient with your cousin; the habits of a lifetime aren’t usually erased in a day. But pray for her, and pray also that God will use you to give her hope and peace. As the Bible says, let us “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
Tribune Media Services 5/23