Continuity. It’s an important concept. I’ve yet to meet anyone–even one who likes a lot of change–that doesn’t need continuity in at least one part of their lives in order to deal with all the change that happens around us on a daily basis.
Beginning a new habit can a hard thing. It breaks up the continuity, but choosing to break up the continuity of complaining HAS to be a better choice than keeping it in place. Just taking that statement on face value has merit. I mean, choosing to be NEUTRAL over NEGATIVE is a step in the right direction, I think, but what if we added to it? What if we pushed ourselves to go even further?
What if we, as we’re focusing on eliminating the negative, also added in a positive to fill that “void” in our thought pattern? What if we…deliberately looked for the GOOD? What if we PRAYED for that person? What if we prayed for OURSELVES in that situation? What if we–brace yourself!–chose to SPEAK WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT in to those situations we used to complain about? To build UP instead of tear down? Or even just redirect the conversation?! What if we became beacons of blessing instead of contributors to the darkness? What if we created a continuity of deliberate actions that led us to becoming a person of influence for good…and for good, as in “permanently”.
That may be a lot to take in for those of us who are still working up to the idea of eliminating the complaints, but I want us to think about it this weekend. Keep posting reminders that help keep you on track. Continuity is key! My friend Audrey looks for cardinals, leaves, and bells…and frogs, apparently. (really, 9?! ~grin~) Ron says he’s using prayer as a reminder. Our friend Betty says she intends to send out a distress call when she feels the urge to complain, so if we get a “Mayday! Mayday!” text, we’ll “know to pray hard!!” (I love that! Getting the people around you in on this will make it SO much easier!)
I’m using my bracelets (pictured above) as my reminder that I am too blessed to complain and that I need to keep asking God to “create in me a clean heart in me” (Psalm 51:10) because Matthew 12:34 tells me, “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”–all the while, I’m giving thanks for Patty and Jody who gave me really great physical reminders to help me and for those of you who have joined in this challenge with me! Your involvement is encouraging! See! You’re already making a difference in the world!
For today, just keep doing whatever YOU’ve been doing so far to remind yourself not to complain, to catch yourself before you let your mind go “there”, think before you speak, or simply choose silence over condemnation. After all, it’s Friday! The weekend is almost here and there’s a lot of living to be done! No extra homework from here, just more opportunities to change the world where you really live…with the people you love.
Grace & Peace! (and NO COMPLAINTS!)
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14