Speaking words of thankfulness is our most crucial key to living a blessed life.
I didn’t realize words could be so capable of life and death until I met my husband. Growing up, I developed the habit of squeezing complaints into normal conversation. Because I’m a vocal person in tune with my (ever-changing) feelings it seemed natural to vocalize the bad along with the good. Innocently, I spoke words of grumbling and discontent over the smallest things.
“The weather is too warm;” “I hate waking up … just a few more minutes?” “She can be so mean; at least I’ll only be working with here for one season …”
Without realizing I had allowed complaints to become the main catalyst for conversations.
It was a wintry morning when Dalton asked me to stop. I was climbing into our cold truck, bundled up in my pea coat and mittens, preparing to be dropped off for a few hours of babysitting. Without much thought I mumbled words of discontentment, “I hate getting up this early and it’s so cold. Why do I even do this?”
“Why are you complaining?” came the offending question from my husband. “You have a great job, good pay and you only work a few hours a week. You’ve got it good. If you want to quit, quit. Otherwise, be thankful and enjoy it.”
I felt ashamed by his rebuke and defended my words. But deep inside I knew he had a point.
God takes complaining seriously. Throughout the Old and New Testament our Heavenly Father rebukes grumbling, murmuring conversations; the Israelites complained and suffered serious consequences. Dalton likes to say “when people complain God always replies.” (And gives a good spanking.)
Without knowing it I fell into a sinful way of viewing and talking about life.
How do we fight negative, complaining conversation? How do we root out the desire to vocalize our grumblings and murmurings over life’s irritations?
Giving thanks, even for the irritating bits, gives life. When we give thanks we’re given the chance to see the irritation from heaven’s perspective. We grow in grace because we’re walking in obedience when we choose to be content despite our circumstances. If our Lord could give Paul the grace to be content in all that he suffered (and enjoyed) then we can confidently rest knowing our Lord is more then willing to help us as well. 🙂
Dalton had a point. I didn’t need to babysit and I could quit anytime I wanted. But in the mean time I needed to give thanks.
As I’ve learned to make thanksgiving the topic of conversation I’ve noticed how much easier the hard things in life become. By noting the beauty of a winter’s day instead of its bitter cold I see more beauty and feel more peace. By taking life’s opportunities to be thankful I became more happy. 2015 was a good year for me and most of it was due to my changing perspective.
Because I came into this world with more then I deserve and because I’ll leave this world with more then I deserve I have the privilege to use my words to give thanks for everything in between. (That’s another of Dalton’s sayings … isn’t he the greatest?) 🙂
How about you? Have you noticed the power of thanksgiving in your life? How have you grown to be more thankful in your conversation? Will 2016 be a year of rejoicing for you? Share your thoughts — I always love hearing from you!
With lots of love, blessings and coffee,