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Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal



Paul Schneidmill


Billie Holiday is probably best known for singing, “God Bless the Child That’s Got His Own.”  However, in 1944, she recorded a song entitled, “Don’t Explain.”  The first stanza of the lyric are:


Hush now, don’t explain

I know you raise Cain

I’m glad you’re back

Don’t explain


I thought about that as I mused on the subject for this month’s bulletin: “Don’t Complain.”   


Complain: 1. To express feelings of dissatisfaction, resentment, or pain.  2. To make a formal accusation or bring a formal charge.


Often when I ask people how they’re doing, a standard reply from most is, “Oh, I can’t complain.” 


I respond by saying, “Good.  It’d be a waste of time and effort if you did.”  Unfortunately, many of us, and I’m not exempt, have wasted a considerable amount of hours from our lives containing untold possibility and productivity, during the times we’ve complained about someone or something. 


God has given me a “New Attitude” (thank you Patti Labelle) on the talent-less art of complaining. 


I say talent-less because to be a complainer requires no experience, proficiency, skill, or talent.  If complaining was a job position for hire, we all would qualify.  Some of us would qualify to be the CCO (Chief Complaining Officer).


To complain is like being a spectator at a football game.  You get upset when a play doesn’t work out for your team, even though you had no involvement in the play selection, nor are you on the field participating with the team.  Complaining is the only spectator-participant sport there is.


Recently, I’ve come to believe that complainers (like hecklers) contribute absolutely and positively to the complete and total success of nothing.             


In today’s society, many people look at things in terms of benefits and rewards.  Therefore, let us look at the subject of complaining from these viewpoints. 


First, we will look at the benefits of complaining.  Now, let’s see…….did I leave anything out?


Second, the rewards of complaining are: Anger, Anxiety, Bitterness, Callousness, Discontent, Disillusionment, Envy…there are much more, but I’m sure you get the picture…oh yeah; I can’t leave out “Down-right Meanness.”


This profitless area of complaining is one of the few areas I know of that issues rewards without benefits; and the rewards definitely aren’t good.  They sure aren’t things I desire to acquire.


Here’s a partial list of some Biblical complainers and the results they received based on those “rewards” associated with having and/or exercising this undesirable quality:


Korah, Dathan and Abiram – Complained about Moses’ leadership and was relocated indefinitely to some property beneath the ground (Numbers 16:1-34).


Haman – Complained about Mordecai not bowing to him, conspired to hang him, and ended up wearing the hemp necktie himself (Esther 5:9-14; 7:9-10).


Judas Iscariot – Complained about Mary (Lazarus’ sister) using expensive ointment to anoint Jesus, ended up betraying Jesus and…well you probably know what ultimately happened to him (John 12:3-6, Matthew 27:3-5).


Complaining is never good and it will never, ever produce good results. With that said, let us return to the Billie Holiday song.  Humor me as I revise the lyrics to remind us not to complain.


Hush now, don’t complain

You waste time raising Cain

Maximize your time

Don’t complain    

Copyright © Paul Schneidmill