“Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord.”
Recently I heard about one pastor who challenged his congregation to go one month without complaining. Could you and I do that? Could we go a day without complaining? God wants us to go for eternity without complaining so it seems we need to move in that direction. What are all those who live in heaven doing all the time? They are praising God. There is no room for complaining.
I remember one marriage therapist who stated that he could pretty accurately predict whether a marriage was going to make it or not within 15-20 minutes of meeting a couple. It was all about the positive or negative messages the spouses were communicating to each other. If the negative messages far outweighed the positive ones that was a strong indicator that the marriage would break down. Is it more about giving thanks to your spouse or complaining to your spouse?
Now, let us transfer the marriage study to our relationships in general. What are the ratio of positive messages to negative messages that we are sending to our spouses, kids, friends, and all people around us? Specifically, how does complaining enhance the life of God in others and us? What do you communicate with your life, thanksgiving or complaining? Are you someone you would want to be around?
How can we move from complaining to thanksgiving? I think it is important to name the fact that we complain and then actively seek to rid it from our lives. Maybe grab an accountability partner to check up on you each week and see how you are doing with your complaining. How about reviewing your day before you go to sleep at night to see how much complaining verses thanksgiving you have done during the day. And try verbalizing thanksgiving in place of complaining every time you are tempted to complain.
What about prayer and our connection to Jesus? What does all of our complaining tell us about how united we are to the Lord? It seems to me that if we were truly united with the Lord, truly present with Jesus, it would be impossible to complain.
Love is spelled T-I-M-E