THE “C” WORD – COMPLAIN OR CELEBRATE?

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” ~Psalm 19:14

Ever have one of those days? You’ve got your day all mapped out and everything is perfectly planned. You’re on a tight schedule and you just know you’re going to be so productive. But then things start going wrong and your perfect plan gets totally derailed. You feel frustrated, exasperated, mad at the world, even angry enough to shed tears. When you experience days like this, how do you usually deal with these emotions? Do you lash out and take your frustrations out on everyone around you, or do you take a deep breath and try to calm down, knowing that this isn’t the end of the world?

Let me give you a good example. Recently, my friend experienced some of those familiar feelings…

Her flight got cancelled, and the gate agent rerouted her to another flight. Unfortunately, the gate for that flight was at the opposite end of the airport. As she was sprinting like an Olympic athlete through the airport, barely missing other passengers who were sauntering to their gates, she thought, “Wow, my foot is really hurting!” Suddenly, she realized she had a horrific blister forming on her heel. She was more than exasperated; she was downright irritated, agitated, and aggravated!

Hobbling up to the gate where the passengers were already boarding the flight, she was in excruciating pain and breathless from her mad dash across the airport. She was ready to snap at the agent who was scanning boarding passes and anyone else who got in her way. However, as she took her place at the end of the line, she noticed a beautiful little lady being wheeled to the gate in an airport wheelchair. At that moment, her heart felt a sharp pain, and she immediately bowed her head and apologized to God for her attitude. She had just darted through the airport at break-neck speed and gotten to her destination with this nasty attitude that was less than attractive. Meanwhile, here is a sweet little lady who had to be transported in a wheel chair, had a smile on her face, and was graciously thanking the airport attendant. At that very moment, my friend said, “God, instead of complaining, I need to be celebrating the fact that I have the ability to walk and even run. Please forgive me for having such a negative, thoughtless attitude.”

Yes, things happens—sometimes good and sometimes not so good. That’s just a part of life. Our good moments often bring shouts of joy, while the not so good can push our buttons to the point of explosion. Before we react in a negative manner, complaining or criticizing, let’s take a second to think about how we can handle our difficult situations with a different perspective:

  • Analyze the situation—Visit the pros and the cons. There are two sides to every story, and even in difficult circumstances, you can usually catch a glimpse of something good. Celebrate the good instead of honing in on the bad.
  • Shake off the need for perfection—I admit I love perfection, but often a perfectionist becomes totally frustrated when things don’t live up to their expectations. They are often disappointed and feel inadequate. Bottom line…no one is perfect; celebrate the opportunities God has afforded you. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect; that’s why we have His grace.
  • Learn to live with a loving heart—Jesus taught us that love is everything. Selfishness or pride can certainly stand in our way when it comes to loving others. Unfortunately, we live in an “I” world. Everyone wants what they want and they want it now! As Christians, we need to practice patience and instead of constantly wanting things, we need to strive for a heart filled with kindness and compassion. Celebrate what you have as you count your blessings and be willing to share God’s love with others. When we express love and kindness towards others, it gives us a sense of peace and fulfillment.
  • Adopt an attitude of gratitude—How blessed are you? We are so fortunate to live where we live and to have the joys that freedom provides us. Instead of whining, feuding, nagging, gossiping, or feeling sorry for ourselves, let’s take that negativity and turn it into praise. Try hard to keep a positive attitude even in the midst of our storms. We have so much to be thankful for—Praise the Lord! Celebrate all that God has given us!

When life sometimes rubs blisters on your heart, instead of complaining or criticizing, choose the other C word: CELEBRATE. I pray you can see a glimpse of good in your circumstance, and you can proceed with an open heart as you handle the situation in a manner which brings glory to God. It’s important for others to see God in us. I am sure you have heard these words before: “We may be on the only God people see today.”

Celebrate life. Celebrate the good. Celebrate all the great things God has given to you. Keep life’s little tragedies in perspective, knowing that no problem is too big for God to handle.

We serve an amazing God, and that is truly something to CELEBRATE each and every day!