Complaining. Griping. Grumbling. All joy stealers, both for you and your loved ones.
Have ever gotten out of bed on Monday morning and not one kind word leaves your mouth until Sunday morning when you show up for Sunday School? When I get that way, my youngest son, will hold me by the shoulders, look me in my eyes and say, “What are you so mad about?” Most often, I’m not mad; I’m just grumbling. I’m focusing on my circumstances, my feelings, and not the hope I have in Jesus.
I know you understand.
Jesus speaking to the Pharisees said, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart” (Matthew 15:18). Our complaining and grumbling begins in our heart. Our hearts cause our words to give us away. Do you want to change the words that come from your mouth? Do you want to stop the complaining and grumbling? What will it take?
If we are focusing on what God has done, is doing, and will do, we can only have gratitude.
November is the season when we stop to reflect on our lives and give thanks, and we have so much to be thankful for, and scripture reminds us over and over to give thanks.
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for he is good; his love endures forever.”
If giving thanks is so important to God, why do we wait until November to make it a priority? I want to be thankful, always, in all things, for everything. I want a habit of thankfulness, a gratitude attitude.
Do you? And how do we make gratitude our attitude?
I’ve been training for a “little” half-marathon for months. Race day is not until January next year, but I need to practice now. A runner cannot lace up their shoes on race day then take off running. No, a runner needs conditioning. I need to train my muscles to run. I need to run almost every day before the race to gain the fitness level required to run (I mostly walk) over thirteen miles. (I’m tired just writing about it!)
Our hearts, minds, and mouths need similar training to believe, think and speak gratitude and thankfulness.
So, here’s my proposal.
21 Days of a Gratitude Attitude.
I don’t want thankfulness just for November. I want a gratitude habit for all year. Let’s get started.
We will begin 14 days before Thanksgiving, to get us ready for giving thanks, and continue for another week, to keep us thinking thankful even after the turkey is gone.
Are you with me? Good.
Here’s the plan.
Let’s always start with prayer asking for God’s help, strength, wisdom, and direction. David cried for help:
“But I cry to you for help, Lord;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Prayer gets our heart ready for gratitude.
Let’s resolve to grow an attitude of gratitude. To resolve means “decide firmly on a course of action.” Daniel resolved not to eat the king’s food, and God honored his firm course of action. Resolve to continue for 21 days.
Let’s meditate on scripture. Keep your Bible close. Pick a time of day to read and be enveloped in scripture.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips;
meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful
to do everything written in it.”
Let’s encourage each other. Breaking a bad habit and replacing it with
a new attitude is hard and we need each other. You do not have to do this alone. I will encourage you, and you can encourage me, and we will encourage others.
“But encourage one another daily,
as long as it is called “Today,”
so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Psychologists contend that doing anything for twenty-one days makes it a habit. So, for twenty-one days, join me as we choose not gripe, complain or make grumbling remarks but instead give thanks with an attitude of gratitude. Choose instead to speak words of thankfulness, love, and kindness.
“If anyone speaks,
they should do so as one who speaks
the very words of God.
1 Peter 4:11″
I hope you will join me. Watch for daily Facebook posts as we encourage each other to live an attitude of gratitude.