When does a negative observation become whining?  When does leaning on our brethren for comfort become burdening them with our problems?  Is “venting” every once in a while an appropriate response to stress?  I have no easy answers for such questions.  If you do, please share.

Perhaps asking yourself questions such as the following can help:

Do I need help?  And am I too proud to simply ask for it?

Is the problem in question specifically my problem?  And how many of my complaints tend to be that way?

How do my concerns rank with the concerns of others?

How do I react when I see others acting like I am acting?

When others respond to me by citing those who have much bigger problems, am I compassionate?  Or am I a little bit annoyed that the spotlight has left me?

Have I prayed about it?  And if so, do I believe the forces of heaven are assigned to render aid (Hebrews 1:14)?

Most of all, is the circumstance making my faith stronger or weaker?

Such questions are especially important in times like these.  We all have plenty of legitimate complaints.  Most of us are on social media, which allows us to complain far more efficiently.  If our brethren are to bear our burdens (Galatians 6:2), we should not hesitate to ask them to bear ours.  But if we are not actively pursuing ways to do the same for others, we would use the passage better by pointing it at ourselves.

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