Habits are a part of life. They help us to do things we need to do or want to do without thinking about them. They’re formed over time by repeated choices. They include both actions and attitudes. Habits can be good or bad, beneficial or destructive.
There are many good and godly habits we should build. One of the greatest habits you can develop is the habit of gratitude. Habitually grateful people think grateful thoughts and consistently communicate their gratitude to God and others. Thankfulness is a wonderful quality. It improves our spiritual and emotional health. It makes us more productive, peaceful and joyous. Overall, grateful people have better relationships and experience a higher quality of life.
To form the habit of gratitude we must deal with things that steal it. We have to break the bad habit of complaining.
A complainer is a negative, dissatisfied, disgruntled, discontented person who communicates their frustrations — verbally or non-verbally; overtly or covertly — to others.
Unfortunately we live in a world of whiners. Per capital, there are more complainers than non-complainers in our culture! And all too often, we’re a part of the griping group.
Complaining is dangerous. When your thoughts and conversations are regularly disgruntled, you’ll miss the best God has for you. When you’re complaining, whining and grumbling your focus is on the negative rather than the positive, the bad rather than the good, the ugly rather than the beautiful, your dislikes rather than your likes, your lack rather than your provision. It’s a very unattractive personality trait. No one enjoys being around a chronically discontented person.
God’s Word warns us about complaining:
Philippians 2:14, 15 (NIV) – Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
1 Corinthians 10:10 (NIV) – And do not grumble, as some of them did — and were killed by the destroying angel.
James 5:9 (NIV) – Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
1 Peter 4:9 (NIV) – Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
God says, “Stop whining! Break the habit of complaining!”
How do we do this? Here are some steps to take:
- Check your mouth — Pay attention to what you say and the way you say it.
- Check your moods. — Pay attention to your thinking.
- Check your attitude. — Pay attention to the condition of your heart.
- Choose your master. — Decide what’s going to rule your life — gratitude or grumbling.
You have a lot to be thankful for. Choose gratitude! Build the habit of appreciation. Your life will be better for it!