When You Feel Like Complaining

Are you a "half-full" or "half-empty" person?

Posted in , Jun 10, 2010

READ: Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.—1 Chronicles 16:34

REFLECT: One day my pastor asked me to pick up an 88-year-old member who needed a ride to church from her nursing home. I dreaded the assignment because most of the elderly I knew were complainers. But Ellen was different. As we drove to church, she told me how thankful she felt that she could walk with a cane.

On our next trip, I discovered she played the piano for eight religious services at the home. She confided she was blind in one eye, but praised God for excellent vision in the other.

I introduced Ellen to some church shut-ins; her attitude was contagious. “Be thankful for what you have,” she would say, “and what you don’t have won’t bother you so much.”

Soon it was clear to me: complaining has less to do with age than with attitude.

PRAY: All too often, my focus is on what I don’t have, Lord. Please forgive me and help me to focus on and be grateful for what I do have.

DO: Ask your spouse or a friend if he/she sees you as a “half-full”or “half-empty” person. Give him/her permission to point out times when you’re focusing on what you don’t have instead of the good things in your life.

Excerpted from Time Out for the Spirit, © Guideposts.

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