Do everything without complaining and arguing
We've been doing an 'ABC' of Bible verses each week in church this term and when we got to 'D', this is what we had: Do everything without complaining and arguing.
I complain all the time. I argue a lot. My kids complain and argue. It just seems to happen, even when we don't want it to. Around teeth brushing time, you can often hear my big loud voice screeching: "Would you two just STOP YELLING at each other?"
Today, in 30C heat, I went for a walk with my daughter. We were both feeling a bit solid and under-exercised so we decided to go. For the first ten minutes all that was going around in my head was, "This is too hot. I shouldn't be doing this. This weather is yuck. I can't stand walking in the heat. Ew, gross, look at all the flies."
Suddenly I remembered "Do everything without complaining and arguing." And I also remembered something I read elsewhere this last week; whatever you complain about, you are giving power to.
Sometimes it's fun to complain. You can be the victim - and I make a great victim. Everything is everyone else's fault, it's got nothing to do with me, and poor little me can feel self-righteous and hard done by until everyone else get's their act together.
It's only fun when I complain though. When other people whinge at me, it's a pain in the neck, whether they are 3, 13 or 30-something.
I remembered, on my hot walk, that I had a choice. I chose to come for this walk. I chose to be with my daughter. I chose to exercise my body. I could have stayed home in the air conditioning, but I didn't. So I should either go home or shut up.
There are several reasons why we need to do everything without complaining and arguing. First, it's a lot more efficient. You waste a whole lot of energy complaining and arguing. Second, you make life a lot more pleasant for everyone around you. Third, do you really want to give all your power away to everyone and everything else?
The real question is, though, how do I not complain and argue? I have a few techniques. First, be actively thankful. Second, remember the alternatives. What could have been my choice in this situation? Third, take responsibility, and fourth, remember that all discomfort is momentary and 'this too shall pass.' Plus, of course, pray and ask God for help!