I strongly believe that environment and company kept are huge. As we know, the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). This tells me we must protect our own joy as well as others’ joy. It can be tough: Grumblers abound!
I received a LOT of inspiration about this from a guy I saw on the Oprah show years ago, who started a “Complaint-free World” movement. Maya Angelou greatly admired him for his work in this area. (That’s saying something!) Of course, he wasn’t denying the existence of real pain and sadness and suffering. But he was trying to inspire us to stop our addiction to complaining and grumbling. That’s very powerful and healthy, and lost on some of us, I imagine. But joyful, kind, first-do-no-harm, gracious, mature, God-infused people: Gotta love ’em and thank GOD for them! ❤
Everyday I’m AMAZED at what people will complain and grumble about . . . and amazed at how petty and cruel people permit themselves to be to people when they can’t know what people are handling in life. (That person you just derided on social media? Perhaps she’s lost a family member and so now is raising that family member’s surviving children, and at times is really going through it. It’s okay to be gentle with each other, especially in these days with what’s going on politically and otherwise.)
I would hate to hurt someone via my grumbling: God has called me to be so much better than that. It’s one of the reasons we teach the children in our family that if they don’t have anything nice to say about someone, then say nothing at all, if it’s not truly necessary for you. It’s one of the reasons I try to stay joyful and passionately work out my issues instead of letting them fester and get me down.
This post is a reminder to myself to refuse to grumble, thereby refusing to be that person who would steal joy from another child of God whom He cherishes . . . and to remain joyful myself. 🙂 There’s so much in life to be joyful about. I won’t complain! God is too good to us all.
Mother and Son Wedding Dance
“As Brother David Steindl-Rast notes, “The root of joy is gratefulness…. It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” from Manning, Ruthless Trust, p. 32
I include this share just because it’s smile-inducing and joy-inducing. Like the scripture says:
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
It starts out so sweet, and then after time stamp 2:36, she’s getting it, isn’t she? 🙂 😛
I know everyone’s time is VERY precious. So, I wouldn’t share if it I didn’t think this was a blessing well worth your time. If you have the time to hear a 25-minute Word, I think you would be BLESSED to visit https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/WatchOnline.aspx and enter in “512” to hear the message “Meditating on What God Says.” JUST STRENGTHENING! 🙂 Praise God!
NOTE: Message #686, “Be a Barrier Breaker,” is a pretty good one, too!
These are four songs (of many) that spiritually either help me grow, stay encouraged, stay in joy and gratitude, remember how much God has blessed us, etc.
“My Everything” by Jesus Culture
“Message for the Saints” by Donald Lawrence
“I Will Be Alright” by Livre
“A Little Love” by Wayburn Dean
Ruthless Trust Excerpts
I’ve been reading the wonderfully strengthening book “Ruthless Trust” by Manning and trying to find time to share a few excerpts here at the blog. It is astonishingly good. Astonishingly. 🙂
In order to really digest what I’m reading, I’m reading through the book very slowly, and then going back and re-reading chapters.
At the time of this writing, I’m on chapter 4. Already I feel I have at least 10, lengthy, really helpful Kindle highlights I could share here. I’ll choose just this one:
” . . . the person with an abiding spirit of gratitude is the one who trusts God.
The foremost quality of a trusting disciple is gratefulness. Gratitude arises from the lived perception, evaluation, and acceptance of all of life as grace—as an undeserved and unearned gift from the Father’s hand. Such recognition is itself the work of grace, and acceptance of the gift is implicitly an acknowledgment of the Giver.” (p. 24)
. . . and this one:
The parable of the merciless debtor clearly states that we sin against God if we fail to forgive the petty grievances of our neighbor. But the truth is that we sin every day, whenever we fail to be grateful to God for his manifold gifts. (p. 26)
. . . and this one 🙂 :
Yes, gratitude is inclusive. As psychoanalyst Eric Erikson once noted, there are only two choices: integration and acceptance of our whole life-story, or despair. Thus, the apostle Paul writes, “For all things give thanks to God, because this is what God expects you to do in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). (p. 30)
. . . this one:
The antithesis of giving thanks is grumbling. The grumblers live in a state of self-induced stress. Like the crew of vineyard workers who had labored from dawn to dusk and felt cheated when latecomers received the same wage (Matt. 20:1—16), they bellyache about the unfairness of life, the paucity of their gifts, the insensitivity of their spouse and employer, the liberals who are destroying the church and the conservatives who have deserted their post, the hot weather and the cold pizza, the greedy rich and the shiftless poor, and their victimization at the hands of the IRS, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the manufacturers of Viagra. (Small wonder that the stressed-out grumblers are two and a half times more susceptible to colds than grateful people, according to Ohio State virologist Ronald Glaser.) (p. 34)
. . . and lastly this one again:
As Brother David Steindl-Rast notes, “The root of joy is gratefulness…. It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. (p. 32)