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Doing Life Together

I admit, it is easy to complain when things don’t go right. Our nature is to jump on the negative. The children of Israel knew this well. No matter what the provision, they continued to grumble and complain. And God was not pleased with that behavior.

What happens when we complain? Do we feel better?

Maybe for the moment but the negative contributes to a downward spiral. It darkens our perspective. Then, more complaints slip out of our mouth and we feel even more negative.

So how do we put on the brakes when our natural tendency is to complain?

We can train ourselves to stop the negative and comment on the positive side. As long as we don’t live in denial and avoid dealing with real problems facing us, it is good to find the upside in any situation. But to really conquer complaining, we have to cry out to God for help in this area. The absence of complaining requires a complete trust in God. It means facing all circumstances with the faith that God is in them and working them for our good. At times, this perspective feels unnatural, even irrational. Why would I give thanks in the middle of a crisis? Because my thanks isn’t about the crisis. It is about God’s continuous presence, His watchful eye, His moving on my behalf and my trust that what He allows will be used for my good and His glory. This is a perspective I need to remind myself of regularly. I’m not saying this is easy.

But trusting and thanking God even when things go wrong is part of what brings His peace. So today, I am practicing putting on the brakes, taking the high road, and trusting in God’s unfailing love.

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