One of the ways I practice complaining less is to keep my mind occupied with things around me I am grateful for. I would challenge myself to think of at least 20 grateful things and then jot them down in my journal. I even went as far as creating a “Thankful Journal” and every day I challenge myself to remember to think of just 20 things I should be grateful about.
This practice has helped to keep negative thinking out because I am too occupied thinking of the 20 things I should be thankful for. As a result of this my mind is always focused on the good in my life . Anytime I am met with a negative situation I immediately try to look for the good out of it because I truly believe that even in bad situations there is at least some good. This is another way to resist the devil and conquer his devices sent to attack us. He wants us to adopt that old complaining spirit to keep us in bondage but by learning and applying strategies to counteract his plans to destroy us, we can win.
I would grab a small note book or purchase a special one just for this assignment. When you do intentional things it gives more meaning to it. Regardless of my day I would intentionally keep my mind on things I want to be grateful for. If I am away from my note book I would jot it down on a piece of paper or in my keep notes app which makes it even easier and safer to access. Once I am home I would set some personal time aside to write down the ideas or things I already scribbled down while out and then meditate on the entire day to complete the assignment.
A few things I have noticed:
- It keeps my mind on things that are good and pure and the like, just like we should as noted in Philippians 4:8.
- My mind stays more at peace; in a peaceful zone because I am constantly meditating on the good things in my life.
- It helps me to also think about the good in persons who are in my life.
- It helps me affirm myself and others more often because you truly begin to recognize the good in others once you participate in point 3 recorded above.
- It helps me to pray for others and not just myself.
- It allows me to see all the good things God is truly doing in my life and others and makes me realize I don’t actually need to complain about everything.
- It makes me more grateful.
- It helps transform my behaviour because if you think positively then you begin to act positively. Whatsoever a man thinks in his heart so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)
- It certainly creates a deeper bond with Christ.
- It helps keep anxiety and anger away. It helps me to deal with them quickly as I remind myself to think of the good in the situation. It helps me practice self-control.
The good thing about this practice is that it builds a good habit. The more you practice the art of thinking of the Good things God is doing in your life the more of a happier, peaceful and thankful person you become. The Lord also does not like when we spend our days complaining. He would rather us just see the Good things He is blessing us with daily and praise Him for these! He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). The moment we begin to complain His presence is disturbed and leaves. He wants us to live a life of constant praise and worship. It is His will that in all things we give Him thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The more we practice it, the better it becomes. It will become our lifestyle.
The next time you think about complaining about those dirty dishes, thank God first and then think about all the people who are homeless and just wish they had a kitchen to at least wash the dishes and clean the floors. It’s not always going to be easy but think upon all the Good gifts the Lord has blessed you with. It’s A Lot to give thanks for. He will bless you because of your obedience to do his will, that is, to give thanks in all things. Honestly it could be a lot worse.
When the praises go up, always remember, the blessings come down (Psalm 67).