How easy it is for us to slip into the attitude of complaining or feeling irritated with our day. Unfortunately when we complain we blind ourselves to all the good things around us and what others and God have accomplished in and for us.
Complaining sends all the wrong messages and highlights the root reasons we complain which are:
1. Entitlement– we are ungrateful for what we have, and think we deserve more.
2. Ingratitude– We don’t trust God’s or other people’s intentions, goodness or concern for us.
I’ve learnt that a solution to ingratitude and the complaining it causes is to draw attention to and be thankful for all the good around us. It’s something we may need to be intentional about, especially in our fast paced world where most people seem to have little time for thankfulness. Work, traffic, family, and the general pressures of the day become our main priorities and being thankful and showing our gratitude is often forgotten about. How often do we really say thankyou?
If we want to overcome the damaging power of ingratitude and complaining, then we overcome evil with good. There is always good somewhere, and no matter how dark the day seems God will be revealing His love, compassion and care for us in some ways. We just have to be on the lookout for His hand at work in our lives.
So here are a few ideas to help make gratitude part of your life:
1.Thank God. When we want to grumble and complain, thank and praise God for His goodness instead. It will soon change our focus from grumbling to appreciation, and negativity to hope. Practice looking for the good, instead of the bad.
2.Take time to be grateful for the small things in your life. Search for the little slivers of joy in your day, because when you begin to take notice of them they add up.
3. Keep a journal or gratitude jar and document one or more things you are grateful for on a daily basis. 4.Aim to give at least one compliment every day, whether directly to a person or by sharing your appreciation of something.
5. When you find yourself in a difficult situation ask: “What can I learn from this?” “What can I be grateful for in this?”
6. Practice not complaining, criticising or gossiping. Spend time with Jesus, reading God’s word and letting His love and goodness change your focus from negativity to hope.
7. Instead of calling someone to complain about your life, use the time to talk about good things that have happened since you last spoke. As a family we ask one another around the dinner table each night, What’s the best part of your day and share these things together.
8. Be thankful for things you usually take for granted such as your food, water, electricity, hot showers, transport etc.
Today instead of complaining and falling into the ingratitude trap, focus on the many good things God has provided for you. It will have a positive effect not just on your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health but also on those around you.
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise will continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1)
“Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:14)
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:4)
Prayer: Lord please help me to have an attitude of gratitude, instead of one of complaining and entitlement. Today I want to say thank you for all that you have done for me, how much you love me and this day that you have given me to enjoy. In Jesus Name Amen.