A young couple had become very concerned about their four-year-old son. He had not said a word since birth. They asked their pediatrician about him, and the doctor could find nothing wrong. So they took him to specialists. The boy had no physical problems that should have been hindering his speech. Then, at the breakfast table one Thursday morning, the boy suddenly bellowed, “Mom, my toast is burned!”
“You talked! You talked!” shrieked his mother. “I’m so happy! But why has it taken so long for you to say anything to us?”
“Well, up until now,” the boy explained, “things have been just fine.”
We human beings tend to be like that little boy who says nothing – until we find a reason to gripe. We seem to be far quicker to complain than to compliment. We find it easier to point to the things we dislike and want changed than to affirm the good things and good people God has placed in our lives. Why?
Since Adam and Eve were sent from the Garden of Eden, making a living has been more difficult than it had to be. Do you only see the thorns in your work situation? Or have you learned to smell the roses each day? If you are an employee, I can guarantee you that rose-smellers do better work and have a greater likelihood of moving up the ladder than chronic thorn-spotters. If you are the boss, the attitude you take toward each day’s responsibility sets the tone for everyone else.
It’s no different at home. You can find something to complain about every night. He didn’t get the yard cut. She forgot to pick up the laundry. Dinner is going to be late. The kid left her toys in the driveway again. The tone is set for the rest of the night! With a little effort, you can find something to compliment and a reason to be happy about being home. That beginning will set a much different tone for the evening.
Is there something you don’t like about your church? They sing too many songs. The preacher talks too long. There are too many announcements. Somebody always gets your seat. You don’t like your Sunday School class. Hold on a minute. Pettiness obscures your vision of God. And church is about him, not you. Remember?
Don’t wait until you see something go wrong to speak out today. Go looking for something positive. Affirm it. Compliment the person doing it. You’ll like the result.
Don’t be like the little boy who said nothing until he found a reason to grumble. Instead, try this:
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” Philippians 2:14-15
Reprinted from Rubel Shelly’s Fax of Life.