I was talking with an acquaintance when he interrupted himself, asking if he has just made a complaint. I was baffled at the random question. He went on to take a rubber band from his left wrist and place it on his right, stating that he was working on not complaining. Each time a complaint was made, he moved the rubber band to his other hand, as a physical reminder of progress.
In our society, complaining is another form of speaking and great in casual conversation. The weather is too hot. No it's too cold. The food is not up to standard. The day is just horrible. You should have stayed in bed. On and on and once it starts, it just gets easier from there.
It is a constant in society. A society that is so full of affluence and wealth and full bellies and two car garages that the only thing left to do is complain about all you have. How messy your house is. How you have to clean it. All the maintenance needed to perform on such and such. How much this and that costs.
When Moses took the Israelites out of Egypt, they were nearing the promise land. They had escaped Pharaoh's grasp and witnessed miracle after miracle. The parting of the red sea. Eating mana from heaven. Drinking water from a rock. God guiding them in the form of a cloud by day and fire by night, yet with all of this, they managed to find something to complain about. God heard their grumbling. "How long will this wicked community grumble against me?" he asks (Numbers 14:27).
Complaining only makes matters worse. Because of their complaining and doubting God's deliverance, the Israelites wandered the desert for forty years. I have yet to reach that milestone in my age, perhaps you are approaching it or already hit it many years back. Can you fathom wandering forty years of your life in the desert?
God has given you blessings to count, not issues to grumble about. He has given special markers in your faith where he provided as only he can, so you can praise him. When you start focusing on the blessings in your life, the complaints start falling on the way side.
God did not give breath so it can be used to sit around and complain all day. He gave it so others could be built up with it. For praising him. For sharing the good news. For joy and laughter and love. God gave you breath to praise him. Here's a song that conveys just that, Great are you lord by All Sons and Daughters.
It's Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise, we pour out our praise. It's Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to You only.
Praying that more praise and uplifting words would leave your mouth than negatives. Praying that complaints would be weaned from your vocabulary and thankfulness would be a regular. Praying you would use your breath for his glory and purpose.
Here's to using your breath and all your being to give praises, not only to God but those around you. Less complaints and more compliments.