I think we’ve done one similar to this before, but hey, a daily reminder of this might go a long way.
When my girls were little, we sang a Scripture song by *Steve Green called, “Do Everything Without Complaining.” It was from Philippians 2:14 and was a great teaching tool for those times when they complained about something or someone. In all honesty, it was a teaching tool for me as well, and the verse has stuck with me/us all these years. The idea Paul was seeking to convey to the Philippians was that when we are complaining and arguing, we are opening ourselves (the body of Christ) up to criticism. He encouraged them to live clean and innocent lives as children of God so that they would shine as bright lights in a crooked and perverse world.
The words were simple and repetitive*, but when it came time to put away toys, to do homework, or to clean their room, it was an effectively catchy measure of warding off the complaining and arguing that would sometimes ensue.
*Do everything without complaining.
Do everything without arguing
so that you may become blameless
and pure children of God. (repeat)
For a flash from the past, check out the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEYrEgnbgAw
As adults, our complaining may not always hinge on having to take out the trash or do the dishes; it’s more likely to revolve around life’s daily frustrations. While the girls and I no longer sing the song, we have learned to look for God’s fingerprints and blessings throughout the day. We name them and share them and strive to focus on them, particularly when the hurts and disappointments or inconveniences of life arise. Naming the blessings sets our minds on God, His goodness, mercy, grace, and love, and the list goes on and on. When this happens, our complaining tongues are replaced with praises, and peace and contentment soon triumph over the frustrations and disappointments.
Today, let’s echo the prayer of Crisswell Freeman* – “Lord, I can either count my blessings or complain about my disappointments. Today, help me to focus my thoughts upon my blessings, my gifts, and my opportunities. Amen”
*Hide ‘Em In Your Heart, Volume 1, Reissue, Compact Disc [CD] By: Steve Green CAPITOL CHRISTIAN MUSIC GROUP / 2003 / COMPACT DISC
**Crisswell Freeman, “Prayers to Start Your Day“; by Smith Freeman Publishing
God is sovereign. All circumstances of life – whether they appear to us as good or bad- are ultimately under the control of God.
God is faithful and won’t let us be tried beyond what we can bear.
When we offer thanksgiving we are thanking God for what He has done.
When we offer praise we are thanking Him for WHO he is. But when we complain we are basically telling God thanks but no thanks.
Our Christian witness is greatly affected by our grumblings.