Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Five seconds can turn that frown upside down

How many times do you think we complain in one day? How about one hour? Gosh, maybe even one minute? We complain a lot and you know, much of what we complain about doesn't mean much of anything! It is a big waste of time. Really, think about how much time we simply waste complaining. When in fact if we could just be happy we could not only make a difference in our attitude, but those around us.

Complaining is like a cold spreading through the office. No one wants it, but all you have to do is get within distance and you got it! Oh, sure we try to protect ourselves by staying away, but can you really stay away from a bad attitude? If it's in the room it is going to effect you too.

We wake up crabby. We wake complaining about all we must do today. We go throughout our day complaining of other people. We like to complain if something isn't just the way we think it should be. We begin to meddle. That's right, meddle. We see something that bugs us and what do we do? We open our mouths before thinking. We act before our thoughts are even clear. Then it's like a feisty cat who doesn't want to be held. It is out and running wild.

We go to the doctor and we complain about waiting. We go to the store and complain about being in line. Traffic causes us to think we are more important than the one in front of us. Our children become the topic in a room filled with women. And then we wonder why there are problems. We hate what we are having for lunch. We get mad because our pants are too tight. We murmur under our breath as we clean up after another. I mean the complaining is endless. Who wants to be around someone who complaines all the time? Do you? I sure don't. That can just turn our day upside down.

We work too many hours. Not enough pay. I don't like who I work with. My son doesn't pick up his clothes. It's cold. It's hot. There isn't anymore catchup. It is enough to make ones head ache. Sometimes I just want to shout, "SHUT UP!!"

In our ramblings we want others to know we are unhappy. We want others to see just what we go through. It seems when we complain we are once again making it all about ME. We might not be able to change our situation. We might not be able to change those around us, but we can change ourselves. In fact, most likely we are the one who needs changing most of all.

"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 labored in vain." Philippians 2:14-16

What would it be like if we were on camera for just the worst hour of our day? What would our attitude show? What if we had a tape recorder sitting by us in the car while driving to work? Someone always sees us. You might think, now Robin, no one sees me in my car. Yes, others see us. You ever drive past another car and see a couple screaming at one another? You might even see someones finger go up in the air. And it isn't a friendly wave to the passing motorist. Just when we think no one hears our complaining our voices carry across the room. Sometimes one look is louder than a whisper.

My pastor likes to share, "If it doesn't have to do with eternity LET IT GO!!" What if we really lived that way? I think we would be happy. If we simply took our focus off ME and placed it on Christ we wouldn't be so inclined to complain. Instead of thinking about all that is wrong, maybe think about all this right. Instead of seeing the mistakes of the past look to the hope of today. Let that grumpy pants next to you see your smile even if he is wearing a frown. While standing in line at the grocery store instead of just watching that mother lose her mind with her kids, reach over and give her a hand.

All it takes is about five seconds to reach out to another with a smile and a hello. Another five seconds to let someone know your thinking about them. Another five seconds just to say, "I am sorry". Five seconds to say, "I love you." Five seconds to say, "Do you need some help?" Giving a wave to someone passing by? Five seconds. Looky there, in less than one minute we have touched quite a few people. In our giving we receive blessings. In reaching to another it gives them the knowing that they are thought about.

Last week while taking my mom to the doctor an elderly man caught my eye. I was walking from my car and I saw him drop his hat. He was walking into the hospital as a young man was walking out. As I walked closer this young man walks past the hat and says to the older man, "Hey, you dropped your hat back there." The elderly man turns and is going back for his hat. I reach him first and pick up his hat. As I hand it to him he then says, "Well thank you little lady." It would have taken this young man five seconds of time to reach down and grab this hat. Was his time that valuable? I hate to think about how many people I have passed up because I was focused on ME.

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4

In five seconds we can make anothers day. We can make one smile. We can lift another up and encourage them. We can inspire just by allowing Christ to shine through us. Think of all the people we can reach in one. Just one day. If we only change our attitude from ME to JESUS. Look what He did with twelve men. Just think what we can do with the Holy Spirit alive and well in us. Take five seconds and reach out to someone today. I promise the more we reach the less complaining we will do.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say, rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
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