Our words can have a profound impact on other people’s lives. With a quick whip of our tongue, we can either build someone up, or tear someone down.
It’s so easy to complain. I’m sure we can think of something to be thankful for, but complaints seem to rest at the forefront of our minds, just waiting to pounce and make their escape.
I don’t deserve this. Why do I have to do that? Why does this always happen to me?
Can you recall a conversation where the other person did nothing but complain? Do you remember how that conversation made you feel?
I had a conversation with a complainer not too long ago and when it was over, I felt drained, annoyed and just plain icky.
Goodness! Is this how I make people feel when I talk to them?!
I was talking to a good friend of mine last week and when she asked me how I was, I replied with complaints. I was busy. I had things to do. I was struggling with one of the kids misbehaving. As I walked to the car, I couldn’t recall a single thing that I said where I wasn’t complaining. How awful! I hadn’t talked to my friend in weeks and in the one, short conversation we had, I left her drained and annoyed.
It was a convicting moment. I know that Scripture is clear when it comes to complaining. Just last year our ladies bible study went through the book of Philippians, where chapter 2 distinctly provides absolute guidance regarding complaining:
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing,” – Phi 2.14
Grumbling and complaining are used interchangeably (depending on what version of the bible you have), but what exactly do these words mean?
Grumbling: to murmur or mutter in discontent; to utter low, indistinct sounds (growl).
Complaining: to express dissatisfaction, resentment or grief; to find fault; to make a formal accusation.
Since I believe God is completely sovereign and in control of every aspect of my life, every trial I go through is given to me by Him with a specific purpose in my spiritual growth. When I complain, about anything, I’m telling God that I’m dissatisfied, that my trial is His erroneous fault and that I’m discontent with what he has given me.
Wow. How could I be so rude to the One who freely and endlessly gives me sufficient grace?!
My sinful nature is so clear. My complaining must stop. When someone talks to me, I want them to feel refreshed and encouraged. I want to be a joy to talk to, not a burden.
For the month of June, I am making a conscience effort to put-off complaining and put-on gratitude. I will enlist my husband and closest friends for accountability. Starting Friday I will journal a minimum of five things that I’m thankful for everyday and I’ll post them, along with my endeavors, here for you all to read.
I would be honored if you all joined me for Joyful June. You can leave your gratitude entries in the comments, or if you have a blog, please leave a link in the comments to your journal entry.