099. Thanksgiving (Part 2): How Do I Turn Complaints into Thanks?

29 May, 2013

Just this morning I was complaining how our weiner dog, Brutus (pictured above), wouldn’t poop when I took him out.  I was out walking around our yard and he’s just sniffing around, peeing on stuff… after he already peed.  “C’mon, you already peed.  Time for puppy poopies. Go puppy poopies.”  But he wouldn’t go. How will this exhilarating story turn out?  Read the rest of the devotional to find out.

Here there were a ton of things to be thankful for, but I got so focused on one thing that I lost sight of everything else. I got fixated on one little tiny speck – losing sight of the larger picture. I could be thankful to God for Brutus, for having a nice yard he can poop in, or for having the finances to take care of a pet. I could have enjoyed the extra time out in the yard, but I was focused on poop. Or lack thereof.

Last time I talked about how we love to complain and that we need to be more thankful.  Not just some random feeling of appreciation that our lives aren’t as bad as other peoples, but a active thanks towards God.

But how do we change our complaints into thanks? First we have to understand that God has blessed us with all sorts of stuff like pets, families, vehicles, harmonicas, shampoo, indoor plumbing, laxatives, and Rocky IV. And the complaints we have are somehow based off these blessings.  And boy how we like to complain, even about the dumbest stuff.

So realizing that we love to complain, let’s try to turn that around. Try to catch yourself when you complain and turn it into thanksgiving of some kind. ARG! I hit the red light.  God, thank you for this car. DUDE! I hit traffic on my way to work.  God, thank you for my job. UGH! I have to repair my stove.  God thank you that I have a stove in the first place. DARN IT! Apollo Creed just got killed by Ivan Drago in Rocky 4.  God, thank you that coming up are four musical montages in a row with inspirational 80’s rock songs with titles like, “There’s No Easy Way Out”, “Burning Heart”, and “Hearts on Fire”.  And who could ever forget the incredible motivational song entitled, “Training Montage” (note: that’s for real).

So what do we do?

Understand that with whatever we’re complaining about is a part of a larger whole.  A flat tire is only one part of a car.  A mean boss is only one part of a job.  A repair bill is only one part of finances.

So take your complaint and find the larger whole, then thank God for all those other parts. Don’t get fixated on the speck (or in my case, the poop) – losing sight of the larger picture – which is God’s graciousness and love…lest we take his blessings and throw it back in His face. And yes, Brutus did poop. And I was very thankful.

1TH 5:16 Be joyful always; [17] pray continually; [18] give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Take time to pray: Ask God to help you focus on the larger picture, His love, rather than the speck.