Was your day really as bad as you think it was? Before you answer, remember, things can always be worse.
The other morning, as I’m leaving for work, I spotted a man trying to push a car. I’m assuming it was his wife’s, but I can’t be sure. Turns out the lady driving the vehicle was backing out of her yard and ran over one of the large garbage cans. It lodged beneath her car and lifted the vehicle just enough she could not get any traction to move. While the man tried to push the car forward, the wheels spun as if stuck on an icy road.
Within seconds a thought came to me. No matter how bad my day is going to be, chances are it will not be car-struck-on-a-trash-can bad. Imagine the phone call she had to make to her boss.
Some of us have a tendency to complain. A lot. I know I do. In reality, there isn’t that much wrong in our lives. Philippians 2:14-15 reads, Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.
We like to look at what we don’t have, not what God has given us. We complain about having to get up in the morning and commute forty-five minutes to work. (Okay, maybe that’s just me.) We whine about traffic. (Could that be me only, also?) I should be grateful I have a car that runs. And a job to go to. A lot of people don’t.
Christians complain about what is on television, yet tune in. They complain about the books that are written, yet don’t put their money into Christian books. They complain about the minister not acknowledging them on Sunday morning and about the long line at Michaels.
We can find enough complaints to fill our days. Yet, we should be showing the joy of the Lord instead.
If we’d look more at what we have instead of what is missing, we might complain a lot less. We should be grateful for that long line in the store. It gives us an opportunity to talk with the people around us. Maybe even invite someone to church. It also means you were able to leave your house, whereas some people are homebound.
Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier. ― Randy Pausch
If we’d take a step back and realize there are ways to turn these complaints into a blessing, our lives would sure be a lot happier. I couldn’t help but think the other day that God was telling me that my day was not going to be that bad. And it wasn’t. After all, I didn’t get my vehicle stuck on a garbage can.
How about you?
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