We all know the saying, “I’d complain, but nobody wants to hear it.” We all nod. We agree in theory. Who wants to hear somebody else’s boring litany of frustrations and failures? Gack! Conversational buzzkill. So why do we keep doing it?
I know why I complain. It helps me blame other things or other people for the breakdowns in my life (of course they aren’t my fault). Complaining makes me look like a victim instead of a perp. Complaining lets me off the hook for responsibility for failure. Complaining helps me explain away my shortcomings because there must be a conspiracy to keep me down.
Complaining is trash talk. Our God spoils us with gifts and opportunities. Here’s a better way to respond to that generosity: “Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Hebrews 12:28,29).
A thankful heart and thankful talk are learned behaviors. They need to be cultivated. If you are ready for some gratitude therapy, here is your assignment: Get a notebook. Keep it where you sit when you’re on the phone at home or going through your social media sites. Each day for two weeks write down good things that God sent into your life that day and thank him out loud specifically and from the heart for each one.
It will change your life.