How To Be Thankful When You Feel Like Complaining


Have you ever complained? Of course you haven’t. “Uh well, maybe once or twice,” you say. One study claims that the average adult spends five months of life complaining. Here are some of those complaints.

• I tried to spread cold butter on the toast. And the bread ripped.
• My seedless watermelon had a seed in it.
• The escalator was broken. I had to use the stairs.
• I had too much food for lunch and now I’m tired.
• I want another car. But there isn’t enough room in my driveway.
• My wallet won’t close because there’s too much money in it.
• There’s so much legroom in business class that I can hardly reach the touch screen TV.

They call them “First World Problems” – our inability to see the blessings for the blisters. One young lady who had been reading novels said to me, “Things were so much simpler in the olden days. I wish I was born back then. Life would have been easier.” Are you kidding me?
In the Middle Ages, much of life was devoted to simply surviving. Famine was common. About one in four harvests was poor in the medieval world. Often, crops failed altogether. Then there were plagues and other illnesses that swept away millions. Today, we can have hot pizza delivered to our door when we experience early onset hunger pangs. Kings didn’t have the entertainment we enjoy. Or electricity. Or running water unless someone ran to get it for them.

Why am I telling you this? Because I find myself complaining. And I need to stop it. I say things like, “When I eat my potato chips, I can’t hear the TV.” Every age comes with its challenges. But when we live wishing for what was or what could be, we rob today of its joy. God has given us today. It’s full of wonder and possibility. So I’m going to thank God for what He’s up to right now. I’ll start with Psalm 107: “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever…Tell others He has redeemed you…Let them praise the LORD…for the wonderful things He has done for them. He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

We are blessed beyond reason. We have strength for today and hope for tomorrow. My wife will be so relieved at my new attitude. For some reason, she didn’t appreciate it last night when I said, “My electric toothbrush died. Now I have to move my arm to brush my teeth.”

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