Continued from here.
I’m not proud of it, but in my flesh, I’m a big-time complainer. Years ago, if my lips were moving, I was grumbling about something. Gratitude was a foreign concept to me.
Thankfully, I have come a long way since then, in large part thanks to Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, from which I learned to focus intentionally on counting my blessings. No matter what’s going on in my life, I have many things to be grateful for.
When I’m in a bad place emotionally, I start by thanking God for the elements of the bathroom – having the luxury of hot water for a shower, being able to use a toilet rather than an outhouse, having toilet paper rather than leaves (or whatever they used in Biblical times) … you get the point. When we’re suffering, it can be easy to let our pain overshadow our blessings, so focusing on something simple like the bathroom is a good way for me to begin the process of shifting my perspective back to one of gratitude.
Despite my progress, there’s one area of my life that has been bothering me for a while. It’s gotten gradually worse and worse to the point that I have been ready to remove it from my life since the end of last year, but God still has me in the situation. I have learned from past experience that until God gives me the green light to leave, I need to stay … but I don’t want to stay, and that’s invited my Flesh to start grumbling again.
It’s disturbing how easily we can fall back into old patterns like complaining. I just make one simple negative comment … no big deal. That makes it easier to make the second negative comment … and then the third … and so on. Before I know it, I can’t seem to be able to talk about this area of my life without grumbling.
So, I’m now holding myself accountable for what comes out of my mouth. The Bible says that I should only be saying things that are beneficial to others and builds them up. Complaining doesn’t do that, so it’s time to stop. God help me because this is very difficult for me in my flesh, but nothing is impossible with God.
[Graphic: Cartoon of a greeting card with Grace smiling and the words, “Many thanks.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]