When one of my kids starts complaining, I often hear the other say to them, “Grumble grumble grumble.” It’s their way of reminding each other (and themselves) that no one likes to listen to other people’s complaining and griping all the time.
Recently I have been the one who is grumble grumble grumbling. I’m finding it very easy to grumble about many things in my life. My grumbling comes from a discontented heart. It’s a heart problem.
Knowing I’m grumbling a lot, and that it comes from a discontented heart, should make it easy enough to change, right? Honestly, not so much. I’ve fallen into the habit of complaining about all of the hard stuff rather than rejoicing. I find when my heart is discontent it’s much easier to see the difficulties as difficulties instead of opportunities to rejoice in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
I must resolve to change my attitude. It is a choice I make. I can choose to wallow in the mud and muck, grumbling and complaining about everything I see as a hardship. Or I can choose to take God’s hand, and “by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present [my] requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
I find great hope in Philippians 4. God knows who I am, what I’m doing, and what I need. When I focus my mind and thoughts on Him, my heart can rejoice in His great love for me. My circumstances may not change. All of those difficulties I’ve chosen to grumble about may all still be there. But when I choose to focus on God and His love rather than my own circumstances, my heart and mind can rise above the grumbling and into peace.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4: 4-9