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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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