Monday, April 20, 2009

Ditch The Complaining

Exodus 3:7-8
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey......”

You may recall that the Israelites had been slaves to the Egyptians for 430 years
(Exodus 12:40)

Just the other day as I was driving home from town, I heard an interview on CBC Radio with a Jewish scholar.
I was so intrigued with this interview that I hauled off the road to listen and take notes!
The topic of this interview was grumbling and complaining ... and how we as humans are so prone to this!
I know I am! How about you?
Sometimes – for me – it’s my “self-talk” – I tend to “talk to myself” a fair bit... and I catch myself grumbling to myself!

Here is the Scripture this fellow quoted...
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?’ It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
Exodus 14:10-12

This Scholar – I didn’t catch his name – related the story of the Israelites being brought out of Egypt by the Lord ... they complained to Moses as soon as they got to the shores of the sea. Go Figure! They had been in captivity for hundreds of years – God had brought them out of that, with their possessions – and they complained and grumbled!!!!

Do we do that? Do I do that?
Grumble and complain when God has brought me out of, or thru something!
Or do I Praise Him, have a grateful heart, and give Him thanks?

A Pastor named Will Bowen was also interviewed at this time.
He has written a book entitled A Complaint Free World... I have not read this book; nor have I gone to his website – you might want to check this out for yourselves...
He told how, about 3-4 years ago he preached a series of sermons to his congregation on complaining.
As you may already be aware, he stated that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit – and he said that complaining and grumbling become habits with us. He encouraged his congregation to become more aware of their “habits” and to begin to change this... to do this he gave each one a bracelet to wear – each time they “caught” themselves grumbling or complaining
they were to change the bracelet to the other wrist...

The goal – to become very aware of their thoughts, their words, their habits of grumbling and complaining;
- to form new habits of praise and thanksgiving;
- to have 21 consecutive days free from grumbling and

I was very taken with this idea.
Last year - 2008 – my New Year’s Resolution was to try and live out Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, Whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

(some days were / are better than others )

Sunday morning I awoke with this idea in my mind ... I went thru some stuff I had and found a simple bracelet; put it on my wrist –
Well! This is how the day went... I changed the bracelet from wrist to wrist many times!

My hubby and a couple friends are aware of what I’m doing... Now you all know!
I’ll keep you informed as to how things are going! Maybe some of you will join me on this journey! If so, please let me know!

Father God,
change our hearts to see You in all our circumstances... whatever they may be.
May we not be like the Israelites – grumbling and complaining as You brought them out of captivity!
May we have hearts filled with thanks and joy – Increase our faith, Lord!
And we will give You all the praise and glory!

Blessings on you today, friends!
May you have a complaint-free day!
Resting in HIM,

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