Remember how I was saying I needed to come up with a mantra that just wouldn't formulate itself in my head no matter how hard I tried? I think I got it.
My plan was inherently flawed because the idea was to throw up walls and guards and protection against the negative attitude. I say flawed not because we should be without defenses but because once again it relieves me of the real work of engaging the person. A mantra reminds me of truth and defends against the lie that complaining is a good thing... and leaves the person in front of me in the dust.
No, the thing I need to remember is not, in this case, weighed more heavily on the "wisdom" side of things but on the "love." I believe very strongly that they go hand in hand and do not exist without each other, but there is plenty of wisdom that says real love will not allow a fellow Christian to persist in sin. That if you really love them, you'll come alongside them and remind them of truth.
But that's tough love. I don't have "tough love" relationships with any of the girls at work. I think there must be exceptions that say simply, the truth will not be heard in love no matter how it is delivered, and the best thing you can do for the person is simply meet them where they're at... without entering into the same folly.