First Steps – January 29, 2018

On a recent retreat someone asked, “How does one stop bickering and complaining?”  Though the question was asked in the context of marriages, it really is a question about outlook or worldview.  For many, their vision is skewed or over-weighted towards what one doesn’t like in a person or in the world.  Unfortunately, over time, this develops into a pattern.  Anything done repetitively over a long period of time becomes one’s behavior.

To change that particular behavior, I have found it helpful to consider these steps:

  1. Acknowledge the bickering or complaining. Don’t sugarcoat it. Own it. Realize that it is there.  If unsure if it is an issue, simply ask a close friend or spouse. They will know for they can see things about us that we often miss or dismiss.
  2. Each day look for 10 things that are good and right, either in a spouse or in the world. This step seeks to stop the existing (negative) behavior while introducing an alternative (positive) behavior.
  3. Whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for each of the things you see that are good and right. This step reinforces Step 2 and ties your faith to the new practice.
  4. Finally, ask God to change your heart. Here, one trusts the work of God’s Spirit to create a heart to naturally look for the things that are good and right.

I don’t know if you struggle with complaining; but if you do, give these steps a try.

This week’s reading:
Monday – Hebrews 5-8
Tuesday – Hebrews 9-11
Wednesday – Hebrews 12, 13; Jude
Thursday – James 1-5
Friday – 1 Peter 1-5

Please Pray for:
Our Nation and Our Leaders
Phase 2 (Renovation of Current Facilities)
Phase 3 (Construction of New Youth Building)
For all those affected by the flu epidemic