So on the way home tonight Kel brought to my attention that I complain a lot. The weather’s too hot, the house is too small, I don’t get enough “me time,” The grocery budget is too tight, the kids didn’t nap, My back really hurts, He doesn’t understand me, he doesn’t say the right thing, and the list goes on.
When I talk like this he said, it leaves him wondering I will ever be happy with the life we are making together. Ouch… I didn’t respond for a few minutes because the only fitting rebuttal was this: “You’re right, and I’m so sorry”
When I replay the soundtrack of my life I sound like a depressing and very broken record at times.
Not only is this irritating and discouraging to those around me, it’s an indication of an ungrateful heart. How can I be counting gifts and expecting to find joy if I’m so busy complaining?
So I’m attempting an experiment this week and I’m going public with it and inviting you to join me. We can hold each other accountable, on twitter, Facebook, or here on the blog.
Here is my commitment: This week I will not complain, put down, whine or gripe, I will not even insult what God has given me by talking about what I would like to have instead.
Every time I notice myself complaining I have to put a penny in this jar:
This is going to be hard because it’s become a bad and seriously ingrained habit. But I’ll be honest with you, record my successes and failures and report back about how it went and how it changed me.
I would love for you to do the same if you feel like this is an area of your life where you’re choosing death over life by focusing on the negative
Sentence starters to be AVOIDED
– ” I really hate that…”
– ” I wish I didn’t have to…”
– ” I’m not looking forward to…”
– “You know what sucks?…”
Some Motivational Text to put on a sticky note or two
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” Hebrews 13:15
“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”– Matthew 15:11 (for those of us who worry more about what we’re eating than what we’re saying)
“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.” – Proverbs 10:21
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29
The long and short of it is that I need to get some control over what I say and what it says about the state of my heart. So I’m doing something simple yet public and moving in a direction so that my mouth becomes a more life giving source for those I love.
So If you want to get in on Operation Gripe Jar:
1) Comment, Facebook, tweet to me etc and let me know you’re on board.
2) Get a jar, a bowl, a bag, a box, whatever and start Monday morning with it empty. (I’d love it if you shared a pic of your jar with me #operationgripejar)
3) When you gripe, jot down on paper or on your phone what you said and where your heart was at when it happened and then put a penny in the jar.
4) Report back to me Next week monday and let me know how it went, how you succeeded and failed and how it changed your week and hopefully your heart for the better.
And hey, report back on my Facebook or twitter all week long! Strength in numbers my friends!
This is a simple, easy system that might lead to some long term changes in every aspect of our lives. If God can use a jar and some pennies to cultivate gratitude in my heart, then I’m all in baby.