Complaining about my blessings
Complaining about my blessings
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and I have a confession to make. It’s shocking and embarrassing, but I’ll bet you understand what I’m talking about. I’ve been complaining lately. About my blessings.
Why? Because I’ve been over-worked and over-stressed, and that’s my own fault. It’s how I’m choosing to live, and I have no one to blame but myself. But to avoid changing my lifestyle, I’ve found it easier to complain. To be a martyr, like that’s somehow more noble than learning to live on less or give grace to that person who annoys me.
Complaining is always a lazy response to a personal problem.
- You don’t like the new policies at work? Complaining is easier than getting on board and supporting someone else’s agenda, especially if your support means you might have to change something about yourself. Your other option is to quit and find another job. (Hint: every place has the same issues.) Just don’t complain; complaining marks you as an egocentric individual.
- You don’t like the traffic, the people, the rat-race of the Christmas merchandising? Stay home and don’t shop. Yes, commercialism is mercenary and unnecessary, and buying more won’t satiate anybody’s soul cravings. But it is your choice. You can refrain from participating if you want to. You really don’t have to shop. I can’t believe I’m saying this right now!
- You’re in relationship with someone who drains you, someone who requires attention, problem-solving, refereeing, or intervention. Sound terrible? Not to someone who is all alone, who suffers in silence and never shares life with anyone. You can build that difficult person up or you can tear him down. You have power over your own responses and your own words. You have a choice how to treat people and how to let them treat you. That sounds remarkably like a blessing.
- You don’t like your country’s politics, the crime, the laws, the bureaucrats. Who does? Either step into the arena and fight for justice or move to another country (where there is also an absence of justice). Or just zip it. And please stay off Facebook and Twitter. You’re not saying anything the rest of us haven’t thought of.
- You are stressed-out, over-worked, under-paid, and unappreciated. Life isn’t fair to you. Really? And it’s fair that half the world lives on less than $1.00/day? You are in the top 1% of the world’s wealthy. Yes, you, the stressed-out, over-worked, under-paid, unappreciated person who’s about to get a paid holiday to over-eat and be thankful. What a hardship!
- Your house isn’t big enough, your clothes aren’t cool enough, your church isn’t good enough, your job doesn’t pay enough, you aren’t important enough, loved enough, or recognized enough. Really? Do you want to be that person? That spoiled, adolescent, entitled person?
Let’s just be real this Thanksgiving, shall we?
We are lazy, selfish, and self-absorbed. We have enough. We have more than enough.
The greed and self-gratification of our Western culture should shock us and convict us. We should be prostrating ourselves before the Lord who gives all blessings and say, I am not worthy! and What should I do with this excess? and Who can I help?
And not just because it’s the season of hope, and good people help each other between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Thanksgiving should wreck us. It’s not enough to ramble a blessing over our dinner. Thanksgiving should radically change how we live 365 days every year.
Decide to start the habit of giving thanks. Keep a photo-journal with your I-phone or write down blessings you encounter every day. Start your prayers with gratefulness. Find people at home or work each day and thank them for something they do that no one notices, something that impacts you or others.
Be the blessing. Be the person who has enough because God is enough.
Then have a Happy Thanksgiving!