What Does Your Heart And Mind Dwell On?
It’s easy to complain.
Right. (I can’t imagine there’s much disagreement about this. I would love to meet the person that has a difficult time complaining.)
It’s so easy to whine about something. And while I don’t want to take some issues lightly (goodness, sometimes we need to vent!), how often do you find yourself complaining? If you had to guess, how many times a day do you complain?
Once? Twice? For most of us, my guess is at least ten times a day and counting. I’m sure there are some days that have more complaints than others, but if I had to take an average I would guess that I complain about fifteen times a day (sometimes just in my head, but those count too).
Now, I’d like you to compare that to how often you pray a day?
Once? Twice? Three, for each meal?
I’m sad to say that for me it’s usually no more than four to six times a day. And, to be honest, while I pray over meals, I normally only have one deep conversation with God one time a day. However, for the sake of the example, I’ll take four times a day.
So 15 complaints to 4 prayers, on average.
Ouch. That’s not a great ratio.
And worse still? My prayers don’t even address my complaints oftentimes. Maybe half of them.
The reality that I spend more time complaining about my life (including whining about complications surrounding the blessings that God has graced me with) has bitten me hard. I’m letting my mind wallow in self-pity and negativity instead of turning to God with my requests. Furthermore, complaints mean that I am focusing on a problem instead of being thankful for what I do have, and what is going right.
The thoughts in our minds and the inner parts of our hearts express themselves to others, and these expressions reflect the depth and intimacy of our relationship with God. So when I spend the majority of my day in such depressing thoughts and oftentimes flippant complaints, what do you think festers in my heart? Conversely, spending the majority of the day in sweet communion with God, what do you think that grows in my heart?
So I’m working on myself to switch the ratio. Or, at the very least, to try for a one-to-one ratio: for every complaint, I’m going to say a prayer about that complaint. And my prayer will either be that God would fix the complaint, or that he would fix my heart. This is, at least, my intention. But it’s a step in the right direction.
Alright, I need to go. I get to go stand in line at the grocery store. Oh joy.
I mean! Thank You, Lord, for this food that I get to buy.