(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 19 "I can't help it; I'm just addicted to grumbling, faultfinding and complaining." Wilderness Mentality #4 of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question and/or scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's join together and fight this battle!)
For God is pleased with you when, for the sake of your conscience you patiently endure unfair treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing right and are patient beneath the blows, God is pleased with you. - 1 Peter 2:19-20 Life Application Bible
In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them. - Philippians 2:14-15 Life Application Bible
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7 Life Application Bible
In Chapter 19, we are introduced to the Wilderness Mentality #4..."I can't help it; I'm just addicted to grumbling, faultfinding and complaining."
Usually, at this time I like to summarize my favorite parts of the chapter. Things that hit home to me the most. However, this week...it all hit home. It's so easy for me to jump on the pity me train and complain about things. Whether it's autism, finances, a rough day, people tailgating me on the highway...I'm the first to voice my complaint. It's not that I'm a negative person. I think it's that I'm looking for someone to validate my feelings. Some one to say "it's ok to feel that way." What I've learned with this chapter, is that no one can make me feel better about this. No one but God can. So I'm taking my concerns, aka complaining, to the wrong people. Instead of complaining to my friends, husband and even kids (what am I thinking?) I need to stop and spend some time with God. I need to stop and pray about. I need to spend time with him so he can hear my concerns and give me the peace that I am looking for in every situation in life.
Let's look at this even further....
Let's say my son with autism is having a really tough day. It seems that all language gains are regressing. Play skills are dwindling. The connection just isn't there. I have two ways I can go with this. The first way is to pray. Pray to God and give him my frustration, my concerns. However, I need to also give him my thanks for what he has done for me. In this moment, God will give me peace over this situation so that I can move forward and help my son through this day. The other way to handle this situation is to complain. Complain to family members, to friends and to God. This will keep me frustrated. I will not find peace and will most likely frustrate people around me as well. As Joyce says on page 218 "How we handle ourselves in front of other people shows them how they should live." In other words, people know that we are Believers in Christ. They watch our every move to see how we handle things in life.
Argument with your spouse. Let's say you have a major argument with your spouse. Unfortunately, they may have said something that really hurts your feelings or makes you feel like you should fight back and prove them wrong. What's the first thing you do when you're alone? Do you call your friends and complain about your husband/wife? Do you think of ways to get your point across so you can be the one who is right? Or...do you stop, pray and give it to God. Pray that God will work his way into not only your spouse's mind to show them where they could be wrong but to your mind as well. Another situation in which others are watching how we handle ourselves.
You've decided to take your child with autism to the park this morning. While there, you notice a lot of parents staring at your child. You can tell by their facial expressions that they are wondering what is going on. In the meantime, you hear other children laughing at your child, wondering what they are doing as well. What do you do in this situation? Do you take your child, leave the park, cry the whole way home and then complain about your life, your situation, autism to any one and everyone who will listen? Or do you use this as a teaching moment to not only teach these children and adults about autism and your child, but to show them how God is working through you?
Autism. How do we not complain about autism? How can we not feel that our children are being cheated out of so many things in life and it's just not fair? How can we not complain about not receiving government assistance that all of our children deserve? How in the world do we stay positive and patient during our trials with autism? It's not easy and God never said it would be easy. This is where we need to take Joyce's advice that she writes on page 222 and 223. "Complaining is definitely a wilderness mentality that will prevent us from crossing over into the Promised Land. Jesus is our example, and we should do what He did. The Israelites complained and remained in the wilderness. Jesus praised and was raised from the dead." On page 223 Joyce shares with us the following Bible verse from Philippians 4:6...Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. She continues on page 223 "...patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting."
Life isn't going to be easy. We can all agree on this. However, God uses so many storms in our lives for good things to come out of them. It's important to stay faithful to God during our storms, be patient and know that he is with us every step of the way and will help us through every situation in life.
This week, when life brings you situations where you want to call a friend and complain...just stop and pray. Watch how much more quickly peace comes over you and the situation seems so much easier.
Thank you so much for giving us such a wonderful book to grow together spiritually. In every situation in life, you never disappoint us. You always provide and we thank you for this. Please remind us this week to come to you with our thanksgivings and our hard moments in life so that you can give us the peace that we are all searching for in life.