Negativity! Complaints! And more complaints!
It’s so easy to blurt out our complaints. To be negative.
What are our complaints?
First of all, what’s our grit? Is it:
…that my husband leaves his socks on the floor, the cabinets doors open, leaves the lights on, or something worse?
…or that my children won’t clean up their rooms, won’t make the right choices, leave God out of their schedule?
…or that my server brought my salad after my entrée, brought me someone else’s meal, or ignored me altogether?
…or that the person in front of me on the expressway is going too slow…in the fast lane?
…or that I suffer a never-ending illness or maybe it’s just some little ache or pain?
…or that I was ignored for a promotion at work?
…or that my mother-in-law hates everything I do?
…or that my best friend stabbed me in the back?
…or that those in the government would…whatever?
…or…or…oh, the endless list of ors!
The list above is not from personal experience. Well, a couple of them are. But what I have learned is that, if the other person I complain about, or to, were Jesus, then what would I do? Complain to Him while shaking my finger in His face? I don’t think so.
I discovered a long time ago that complaining never did anything for me except put me in a rotten mood and infect the moods of others.
If I pitch my tent on complaints, it only imbeds negative feelings within me and affects my relationship with others adversely. Not only that, negativity destroys other areas of my life and separates me from my fellowship with the Lord.
So, how do we stop complaining?
I’ve found that thankfulness and praise are the best annihilators of complaints, turning each negative into a positive.
Paul wrote, “Do everything without complaining or arguing. Then you will be innocent and without any wrong. You will be God’s children without fault. But you are living with crooked and mean people all around you, among whom you shine like stars in the dark world.” (Phil. 2:14-15 NCV)
If I’m not grateful, what kind of abundance is stored in my heart? For out of the abundance…well, you know the rest.
But in case you don’t know, the Bible says, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him.” (Matt. 12:34b-35a NIV)
Our heart determines our speech, revealing what is stored there.
I have determined to praise God no matter what, even if it’s through gritted teeth. When my day is darkened with a multitude of problems that need to “take a ticket, take a seat,” and the praises of my heart begin to stick in my throat, do I still praise Him anyway? You bet!
I do as David said, “I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of His glories and grace.” (Ps. 34:1 TLB) Amen!
David wrote, “Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God.” (Ps. 42:5b Ampc)
If I constantly boo-hoo my circumstances more than praising God, I magnify my circumstances above God’s mighty character and power.
I can command my negative thoughts because the Word says I can by “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5 NKJV)
May praise be found overflowing your heart and lips…Lynn