Jul 2, 2008

From Grumbling to Grateful

I've been grumbling. A lot.

I don't like to grumble.

I don't like to be around people who grumble.

God tells us not to grumble, and especially not to grumble against Him.

Why am I am grumbling? Why can't I be content?

Philippians 1:14-15 says, "Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world."

1 Timothy 6:6 says, "But godliness is actually a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment."

Why am I grumbling?

My life is full. I sat down to create a compare/contrast list of things I've grumbled about over the last few months. Astonshing.

My doctor hasn't yet been able to regulate my thyroid medication, and I'm really, really tired all.the.time. which makes me a tired, grouchy grumbler. I live in a day and age where simple daily medication is available and can, in fact, take care of the problem. My current medical challenge is extrememly minor in the grand scheme of things, and it certainly pales in comparison to the struggles of others I know and pray for regularly.

My office sees a whole lot of folks who have a "sense of entitlement" and treat others rudely and presumptuously. This gets really old, ya'll. I have a job that is keeping a roof over our heads, AND I have an opportunity to influence others in a positive manner.

I don't always choose to try to influence others in a positive manner, and I know I should, which makes me feel guilty. I'm doing better, and I do have the power because Jesus lives in me.

My housekeeper keeps breaking things in my house. I have the wherewithall to HAVE a housekeeper, and the things she has broken are just... THINGS.

There are some difficult issues being dealt with among my family. I have a family that loves me and loves each other and works together to build and maintain wonderful relationships, something many people I know cannot say.

It is h.o.t. in Texas. I don't like to be hot. Seriously. My home, my office, and my car have air conditioning. I'm thankful for air conditioning.

Studly Man hasn't been employed in 15+ months. My job has paid the bills.

Studly Man hasn't been employed in 15+ months. He has an exciting new project that we believe is about to be incoming producing AND puts him in front of even more prison wardens who may issue new invitations for us to minister to incarcerated youth.

Studly Man hasn't been employed in 15+ months. My husband is at home - with me - and not given to defeat.

The budget has been tight, and we've had to forego things we want and tighten our proverbial belts. Our needs are met, and then some.

The political climate in America is beyond scary because America turns her back on God a little more each day. Daniel 2 says that GOD is the One Who establishes kings AND the One Who removes kings. (No person will come to power anywhere except that God permits it.) God is still in control no matter who ends up in Washington.

Satan won't leave us alone. God is at work in our lives, and that poses a great threat to the enemy.

Satan is waging war against the Church. We belong to a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church that refuses to compromise, stands on the Truth, and does what is right instead of what is popular.

The list is a lot longer, but I'll stop with that. My conclusions were simple.

How dare my attitude be one of grumbling? Have I learned NOTHING from studying about the children of Israel and their grumbling against God?

Zig Ziglar and Dale Carnegie got it right. Positive thinking yields positive results. As a child of God, I have hope which is the epitome of a positive attitude. I'm instructed in Philippians 4 to dwell on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, whatever has any excellence and whatever is worthy of praise. If I actually DO that, there's no room for grumbling. Only gratefulness. I am grateful, but am I grateful enough?

I'm working on it.

What struggles are causing you to grumble? How can you focus on being more grateful? How can I encourage you?


Kim said...

What a touching post, and one I believe MANY can relate too. Many of the things you've listed....are exact things I'm dealing with and you are SO right....when I feel as though I have NOTHING...I have EVERYTHING because I have Jesus.

One of my favorite sayings is: "My worst day with Jesus, is better than my best day without him!"

It often seems so much easier to grumble, than be Thankful, but when I find myself in a state of grumbling, I purposely focus on Philippians 4:8 which says:

Whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report,
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,

Have a BLESSED 4th my friend.


Sheryl said...

GREAT post! I believe you know what causes me to grumble. Yet I am trying so hard not to. There are days when I really have to dig deep to think of something good. Grumbling won't change my circumstances but praise & gratitude will change my attitude.

I saw your "status" on Facebook. "Wishing your foot would heal. (sorry about the pun)" I'm sorry your foot's not healing but I got a good laugh over the comment.


Suzanne said...

It's hard not to let circumstances get us down, but it looks like you are well on your way to keeping that from happening. Just reminding ourselves what we're thankful for is so helpful.

I've been through the problem of trying to regulate thyroid medication and it certainly is NOT fun. I am also with you on being tired of this Texas heat (though I too am VERY thankful to have A/C!!). My most difficult circumstance right now is raising two teenagers. Oh my goodness, they are great kids but still quite challenging to deal with!

What I do know is that we will get through it all with the help of our Lord!

God Bless you!

DidiLyn said...

Your list was such an encouragement. God's perspective about each grumbling point....perfect.
I loved this post.

The Fires said...

Thanks for the reminder about how lucky we are to have Jesus as our Savior and and Heavenly Father who loves and protects us. We have no reason to grumble...satan delights in our grumbling, but "greater is He who is in me!"
Keep the faith, faithful servant. Jesus love you and so do I!