Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Continuing what I started in Parts 1 and 2, I’m talking again about the idea of a positive attitude. How do you fit into that?
Accept responsibility for your own life and the choices that you make. The changes that are going to take place are because of the decisions you choose. There are three kinds of people in life: accusers, excusers, and choosers. Accusers are always going around saying, “It’s your fault.” When Adam sinned he blamed his wife and then blamed God. He was an accuser. Excusers say, “I’m a product of my environment. It’s not really my fault.”
The people that are really successful in life are neither accusers nor excusers—they are choosers. They accept responsibility for their own decisions. When they reap what they sow they accept it and move ahead.
I should develop the attitude of gratitude because I know that God is in control:
- He is more powerful than any problem
- He is more faithful than any failure I can experience
- He is truer than any trouble I can find myself in—my God is bigger than any problem
- He is stronger than any situation
- He is constantly working for my good in every circumstance that I will ever find myself in.
This fact is a tremendous antidote for complaining. Whenever we are complaining, we are usually getting our eyes off the powerfulness of our God and focusing on our problems. You can focus on either the negative or the positive—that choice is yours. Is the cup half empty or half full? It all depends on how you look at it.
Of course there are things in your life that are not perfect—they are not supposed to be. You are not living in Heaven yet. You are still on earth where things still break and fall apart. Things get dirty; they wear out; they get holes in them; they get stained; they get ruined and you have to deal with. God is in the process of changing your life. He wants you to be more like Jesus—develop an attitude of gratitude—for that is God’s will for your life.
Look for God In every situation
If you are a Christian, God is always active in your life. He is there in each and every situation. You may not be aware of it, but He is there. The Bible says: “I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion.” (Philippians 1:6 – HCSB)
If you want to get victory over complaining, look for God’s hand in all of your situations and circumstances. If you are going through some rough times, be aware, God is there. Second Corinthians chapter four says: “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17 – NLT)
Look for God in every situation. Paul is saying that problems will come into our lives—there is no doubt in this fact. But be aware that God is there and he cares how you handle them. Your problem—no matter how big it seems—is temporary. It’s small—in light of how long you’re going to live in eternity. So look for God’s hand in the circumstances. Positive people realise that God is in control. God is fitting everything into a pattern and his purpose is greater than your problem.
The reason why over and over in the Bible we are told not to complain is this: complaining leaves God out of the situation. When I complain about my circumstances I’m really saying: “God isn’t big enough to take care of me.” If you are a constant complainer, you need to take a good long look at your faith in God. He will never leave you. He will always take care of you.
Consider the positive results of a non-complaining life
Let’s look at our focal verse again:
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:14-16 – NKJV)
Do you remember how The Message paraphrases the same verses? Let’s read that again too:
“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into … the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.”
This means that when you don’t complain, you are changing the atmosphere of the world you live in. You are ‘a breath of fresh air’. You are different than most people. You carry a message of hope—you carry the ‘Good News’ in a world that is filled with bad news. You carry a message of light in a dark world.
Jesus said it this way: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14 – NKJV) Our culture needs some good news. It needs someone to bring them a message of hope. You can help change the world. Check your attitude. Be positive in a negative world.