November 15, 2022
Moving From Grumbling to Gratitude
Do everything without grumbling or arguing (Philippians 2:14 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I heard the crackle under my foot and knew what had just transpired.
I shut my eyes and felt sure my ears must be turning red. I didn’t know whether to cry or scream.
With six little ones under my feet, dinner to be made, and another practice to get ready for, the chip on the floor threatened to make everything fall apart … especially when I stepped on it.
While enjoying an after-school snack, a chip slipped through some little fingers and fell to the kitchen floor — the same kitchen floor my hurried feet shuffled through and consequently crushed the forgotten chip into a million tiny pieces.
With my emotions already on the edge of irritable, this chip created more than just crumbs. It seemed my little girl noticed, because she calmly looked my way and said, “no problem.”
She had learned this phrase from her first-grade teacher. They used it when a friend dropped something or spilled something or tripped over something. Instead of allowing the unexpected situation to create chaos, the eager students said, “No problem.” Then they acted like it was, in fact, no problem.
Today’s Truth challenges us to, Do everything without grumbling or arguing (Philippians 2:14 NIV). Just before Paul urged the believers in Philippi to do everything without grumbling, he encouraged them to do nothing from selfishness. Instead, he wrote, in humility value others above yourselves (Philippians 2:3).
I’m more and more aware of how the holiday season can foster feelings of frustration.
We want to be full of joy, hope and peace, yet we find ourselves more irritable than any other time of year.
We desire to be loving and patient, but we fight feelings of pressure and rush.
We want to enjoy every moment, but images of perfection and added things to do interfere with our joy … and we grumble, murmur or complain.
I’ve noticed in my own life, at its core, my grumbling comes out of a heart focused on myself and everything I have to do. Another translation of Today’s Truth reads like this, “Be glad you can do the things you should be doing. Do all things without arguing and talking about how you wish you did not have to do them” (Philippians 2:14 NLV).
I love the exchange that this translation details. Instead of grumbling and complaining about things we have to do, we can be thankful for the things we get to do. This translation also gives us one very practical way to make this shift from grumbling to gratitude — the words that come out of our mouth.
That brings us back to my daughter’s two words. To replace grumbling with gratitude, I’ve decided to adopt my daughter’s phrase and attach it to all of the things that may tempt me to grumble instead of give thanks. I’d like to invite you to join me.
Like when our children turn ornaments into basketballs and the Christmas tree into a basketball goal – no problem.
When we mix expired flour into the sweet potato casserole – no problem. (Don’t worry, I didn’t serve it to anyone!)
When demands rise and time stays the same – no problem.
When reality doesn’t live up to our big ideas and great expectations – no problem.
Of course, life presents us with circumstances that are, in fact, problems. Those are not as easy to navigate. I’ve found, though, many times my problems don’t have to be problems at all.
What can you say “no problem” to today?
Dear God, I want to have a heart more like Yours. Let the words of my mouth give thanks this season. Alert me when my heart starts to grumble or complain. Help me release my pressures and problems to You, so I can make room to remember and rejoice in the reason we celebrate this Christmas season. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How can you intentionally move from grumbling to gratitude this holiday season?
When I sense my heart leaning towards grumbling and complaining, I like to pause to remember the blessing behind whatever is frustrating me. For example, when my piles of laundry overwhelm me, instead of complaining, I remember the blessing of healthy, active children.
Another intentional way to move from grumbling to gratitude is to write down Scriptures about giving thanks and keep them close. When we’re tempted to grumble or complain, we can redirect our hearts and minds to gratitude by remembering all God has given us through His Son, Jesus. What Scripture will you write down to remember throughout the holidays?
More from the Girlfriends
Katy would love to help you keep your heart refreshed this holiday season. Click here to receive a free resource of 5 Ways to Refresh Your Soul.
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