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Open Mouth, Insert…

by Joyce Meyer

There are certain topics I feel we need to hear about at least a couple times a year. And one of the biggest is the mouth.

The gift that God has given me is in my mouth, but it’s also been my biggest problem. I was a complainer, critical, and a faultfinder. I had no idea the impact it had on my life.

Every word that comes out of our mouths has power in it—creative or destructive, positive or negative. So whether we murmur and complain or give thanks and keep a positive attitude, we are feeding our body, mind and spirit.

So, have you complained or have you been thankful today?

Complain or Give Thanks

Plain and simple, complaining is a sin! It causes many people a great deal of problems in their lives and destroys the joy of anyone listening.

In Ephesians 4:29 the apostle Paul instructs us not to use any foul or polluting language. At one time I didn’t know this included complaining, but now I have learned that murmuring and complaining pollute our lives.

“ Truly thankful people…have no time to notice the things they could complain about. ”

We need to ask ourselves, how quick are we to become impatient and begin to complain when stuck in traffic or while waiting in checkout lines? How quick are we to spot and point out the faults of our friends or family members? Do we complain about our job when we should be thanking God that we have one?

The best way to start each day is with gratitude and thanksgiving. Truly thankful people do not complain. They are too busy being grateful for the good things they do have that they have no time to notice the things they could complain about.

Sealed Tight

If you read Ephesians 4:29-31, you’ll discover that based on this passage, when we mistreat others or talk to them in an abusive way, it grieves the Holy Spirit.

Also, based on this passage, we see that we are “sealed” in the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I envision this concept like being in a zip-lock bag. Nothing can get to us that will destroy us as long as we respect our seal.

If we place a piece of bread in a zip-lock bag, it will stay fresh as long as we are careful not to get any air into the bag. But if we allow the seal to be broken, the bread will become stale and hard within a few hours.

I think our lives are much the same way. If we respect the Holy Spirit and do not grieve or sadden Him with the careless use of our words, we are protecting our seal.

A Daily Challenge

Philippians 2:14 says that we are to do everything without complaining or arguing. You and I need to make it a daily challenge not to complain or find fault with anything. This does not mean that we don’t correct situations that need to be corrected, or that we live with our heads in the clouds, pretending that nothing negative exists. It simply means that we make it our goal in life to be as positive and thankful as possible.

Try going to bed at night pondering everything you have to be thankful for. Let it be the first thing you do in the morning. Thank God for “little” things or things we take for granted: a parking place that He helps you find, waking up on time for work, the fact that you can walk or see or hear, your children…

Don’t be discouraged with yourself when you fail, but don’t throw in the towel and quit either. Keep at it until you have developed new habits and you are living with an attitude of gratitude.

And remember to thank God when the answer to prayer arrives. We enjoy getting our children what they need and ask for, but we feel taken advantage of if they just “grab the goods and run” without stopping to say thank you. And if they say it more than once and are really sincere, it actually motivates us to want to do more for them.

God is the same way with us, so be generous in your gratitude. It will sweeten your relationship with the Lord.