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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Today I've got a devotion running on Proverbs 31 and Crosswalk on Controlling a Complaining Spirit.  If you have found your way to my blog from there, I'd like to welcome you to my little corner of the Internet. 

Life is tough.  It really is.  I've met a lot people in the past two years who've got real troubles.  They've lost jobs, homes, marriages or health.  I know people who have lost loved ones.  The list could go on.

If anyone has a right to complain, it's someone who has suffered. Right?

What if that isn't right? What if there was a way to deal with life's troubles without complaining?  Have you ever met someone who had every right to complain ... but didn't. 

Those people seem to have a secret.  How can they deal with the pain of life and yet not complain?  Even more than not complaining, they have hope.  Yes they experience sadness, grief and pain.  But they don't lose hope.

Year ago my pastor said something that stuck with me.  He said when you have lost something, focus on what you have left.  Not on what you have lost.  I wonder if that's the secret some people have. 

Here's what that means to me.  When I lose something, especially if it was something I love, I grieve. Different losses mean different levels of grief.  But grieving is healthy.  Acknowledging what I've lost is healthy.  Telling God how I really feel is healthyNot faking it is healthy.

Then after a time of healthy grief, I get perspective and thank God for what I have left.  It doesn't diminish what I've lost to do this.  It's a way to move forward.  This isn't easy, don't get me wrong.  But if I make a choice to thank God for what I have just a little more today than I did yesterday, I'm making progress. 

As I've read Scripture, I've discovered that God can handle my honesty.  He can handle my pain.  He can even handle my unhappiness with Him.   But He doesn't like when I complain to others.  Maybe it's because complaining doesn't move us forward.  It keeps us in a place of pain.

These are just some thoughts of mine today on complaining.  What are your thoughts?  Let's start a conversation about how you handle complaining.

In His Love,
Glynnis

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you. i needed this today. my spirit need to be refocused. in fact it has craved this very notion for a long time. having focused for the last 6 years on what i lost instead of what remains has kept me in a place where i serve God only "so much". i have grieved more than enough. please pray that i continue to hear this in my ear every day - for God is so good. - s

Michele said...

Thank you for these thoughts. You're so right, God must really long to hear us thank Him and praise Him for what we do have--just the fact that we're Americans means we're excedingly blessed. Recession or no.

Pam said...

It's just like God to show me something about myself through the actions of my children - WHEW!!! Great devotional and post today. When I visually see how I may be acting through watching someone else it somehow makes me "straighten up and fly right" as my parents used to say. Thank you for the insight today!

Jennifer said...

I was very encouraged by your posts today - both here and at Proverbs 31. I have done much grieving....and I am trying (still trying) to focus on "what I have left"....thanks for wise words.

Cheri Bunch said...

This is so good, Glynnis! Thank you so much for sharing with us! I love the line, "complaining doesn't move us forward. It keeps us in a place of pain." Sometimes I think we are afraid to leave our place of pain. It is like we think we are going to lose more of what we have already lost if we let it go too. Our pain can become a comfort zone.
My very dear friend lost a six year old daughter in December. We all loved that little girl so much. We are still reeling from the shock. Some wonder why the momma can barely function at times. They ask, "Why can't she just get over it?" I believe she is still in that season of grieving that is necessary for now. I am going to show this to her.
Thank you again!
Blessings,
Cheri

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the devotional ad blog. Last night I prayed for this exactly, and you were the one to channel it to me. I have been blessed with so much but have lately been losing focus, becoming envious and jelous and chewing my poor husband's ear off with complaining. I choose again to trust God to chart my future, and wherever He leads me, I will go.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. You just dont know how much I needed to read this today.

KELLY WILLIE said...

Thank you Glynnis for this post. As one of those families where my husband is without employment, we have lost a lot of "stuff", but what I have learned was none of this "stuff" really mattered anyway! My husband and I have each other and we have God in the middle of our life. We do nothing without praying about it and he shows us the way. complaining does no good, it only brings you down, and no one really wants to hear it anyway, so as the old saying goes, "when life give you lemons, make lemondade"!!!

sandi lou said...

this is a timely and wise devotional...thank you so very much

WeaverD said...

Thank you for your post, I needed it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this when I needed to hear it. Your words are from God. I truly appreciate the perspective! God bless you!

Anonymous said...

God bless you for your Godly words of wisdom. I receive the Proverbs 31 devotional every day and when I read your post today I wanted to hear more. I looked you up and found your website and was very blessed by the profound insight of your message. Thank you! May God continue to use you as a beacon of light for so many others to enjoy and glean from.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!! I really needed this today, I recently suffered the greatest loss of my life. I was a mother of 2 girls; I say WAS because on December my oldest daughter passed away & I'm still grieving. I'm sad, but I have not lost my hope. Its very HARD WORK, but the Lord has been so wonderful through this whole process. I want to encourage others to be honest with God & patient with themselves. Don't rush, I can't believe that I can say this; but it does get a little bit less sad everyday. Look for the other things & LOVED ONES in your life that give you joy & stay connected with Him & His people <+><A

Glynnis Whitwer said...

To my sister in Christ who just lost a daughter. I would say you still ARE the mother of two daughters. One resides with her Heavenly Father right now. Although I don't know you, I cried for you this morning. As I wrote this post, I knew a mother who had lost a child would read this, and I prayed that God would be your peace until you are with your child again. Thank you for sharing with us, and for being a comfort to someone else who needed to hear your words.

In His Love,
Glynnis

Christian Art and Design said...

i stuggle with this, recently God allowed alot of stuff to be taken away and He's stripping even more 'stuff' problem is some of this stuff i like. So i did get a little annoyed but after reading your post on your son, i stopped whining and am trying to thank God for what I still have, i'm not going to drown in sorry over what has been lost, even if it's a marriage or unfulfilled expectations, or hardships but just learn to thank Him in spite of sorry and pain. I think this pleases Him more and probably opens the gate for us to recieve more of His goodness away. Thanks

Lisa H. said...

THANK YOU so much. God really used this post and your Proverbs 31 devotional to help me deal with another loss I experienced today, when we're already walking through suffering. I needed this!

Lisa H.

kim said...

Glynnis,
Thank you for the devotion and blog entry. Both really touched my heart and provided much encouragement. Through your words, God spoke to my heart as fear gremlins were starting to creep into my mind regarding some medical testing I am having in the morning. I was reminded to trust that God knows what is in my future and even if I hear "no" to cancer remission, He will always be holding my hand.

Thank you and blessings on your evening!

Lindsey Feldpausch said...

My daughters and I like to repeat the verse "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29) We say it together when something bad slips out, but sometimes, if we are complaining, we ask each other..."Is this benefitting others?"

Jessica Kirkland said...

loved the truth that "complaining keeps us in a place of pain." That is so true. Needed to hear this today.

AmberG said...

I have been in knots lately because I have been facing this issue with my children. My husband and I have been trying to be disciplined and not eat out. In the meantime we are stretching every dollar to give our children opportunities and provide for all there needs through the resources God has given us. It has not been easy. Your devotion has encouraged me to keep going. Your words are always so timely. Thank you!