Monday, January 14, 2013

Complaining or Praising?

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.  –Psalm 34:1-3 (KJV)

Something I have learned about keeping a positive attitude is it involves a good amount of work.  The psalmist said in Psalm 34 that he would bless the Lord, which means praise the Lord, at all times.  The praises of God would continually be upon his lips.  That certainly sounds like a tall order.  Yet, he knew that by the power of God he could rise above whatever problems he was facing and live from day to day in an attitude of praise and thankfulness to God.

Those who take the opposite approach to life have a draining effect on those around them.  Their complaining, griping, and critical comments are like cold water thrown on us as we strive to be pleasant and optimistic.  Now more than ever, I make a conscious effort not to complain or criticize others.  I dislike myself the most when I realize I am complaining.  I confess I sometimes do a bit of complaining when I am all alone, yet this too is problematic.  I believe we should be careful what we say to ourselves because the words have a way of bursting from our mouths when we least expect it.  Therefore, if we find we are complaining, yet no one is around to hear it, we do well to pause and give thanks to God instead.

If being with someone who complains is a draining experience, consider the difficulty of spending time with someone who is endlessly bragging about all he or she has done.  Such people always seem to be trying to “top” our stories and experiences.  If you have been to the Bahamas, they were there last summer.  If you went skydiving, they did that years ago.  If you have climbed Mount Everest, they have done that too – in winter, during a blizzard, and were bored to death!  You get the idea. 

A wonderful life strategy is to praise God rather than complain.  Moreover, when we feel the need to boast, tell instead of the wondrous love and grace of God.  Testify of the blessed works the Lord has brought about in our lives and how knowing Jesus Christ as Savior is truly wonderful.  Praising God and giving Him all the glory has a powerfully energizing result.  We are empowered to look beyond our present difficulties to God’s greater plan and purpose.  Such perspective is available only to the faithful.  Those willing to go deeper into the divine truths of God’s Word will reap the rewards of walking with Christ in spiritual power. 

Have you complained any today?  Try praising God instead.

God bless you today.