Don’t be a complainer
In an old Peanuts comic strip, Lucy announces, ‘Boy, do I feel crabby today.’ Her little brother Linus, always the peacemaker, responds, ‘Maybe I can help. Why don’t you just take my place in front of the TV and I’ll fix you a nice snack? Sometimes we all need a little pampering to make us feel better.’ A few minutes later, Linus brings Lucy a sandwich, some chocolate-chip cookies, and milk. ‘Is there anything else I can get you? Anything I haven’t thought of?’ he asks. ‘Yes,’ snaps Lucy, ‘There’s one thing you haven’t thought of. I don’t want to feel better!’ The truth is that some people don’t want to feel better – they just want attention, and complaining is how they get it. Do you know anyone like that? The Bible repeatedly tells us to stay away from complaining. It takes gut-level honesty to ask yourself: ‘How much of what I say focuses on complaining about the situation instead of trying to improve it? Have I built my life around people who feel the same, people who’d probably be upset if I decided to grow and adopt a better attitude? Am I living in the past, nursing old wounds, refusing to forgive others and myself?’ Time alone doesn’t heal – insight does! Jesus said knowing the truth sets us free (see John 8:32). Once you’re willing to face the truth about your attitude and do something about it, your life will start to improve. And one more thought: Paul says, ‘Rejoice always…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV 2011 Edition). This is God’s will – so do it!