Tag Archives: complaining

Red Wine Stains

Accepting Limitations

Recently I have started to get up early each morning around 5:30am. I was tending to find that staying in bed until 7-8 o’clock left me feeling drowsy and I found it very difficult to get into gear. Furthermore, God had specifically told me many years ago that this was a discipline that I needed to master, since it was going to be of major benefit to my life.

Typically I come downstairs, as quietly as I can so as not to wake up everyone else in the house, go into the lounge, and spend time talking with God and planning my coming day. Over the last few days I kept being drawn to an old, circular purple mark on the hearth in front of the fireplace. It looks like at some point, someone placed a wine glass down and some of the split liquid had soaked into the stone. I think it has been there ever since we moved into the house 11 years ago, but for some reason I was really drawn to it this time.

I decide to take a closer look at this offending blemish that ruined what was a beautiful plinth of fine marble. I ran my finger across it; it felt slightly rough to the touch. With my thumbnail I scratched at the surface to see what I was dealing with. “Is it really such a permanent mark?”, I thought to myself. I began to scratch at it with a bit more urgency, applying greater force. To my amazement this seemingly unmovable disfigurement began to disappear. I slowly worked my way round the shape watching it get gradually lighter and lighter until it refused to lighten any more. I then marched to the kitchen and brought back a cloth and a knife. I continue to rub at my tenacious adversary. Almost gone now, I applied the knife and gently scrapped at the surface. In just a few minutes, what had stood for over a decade was gone without a trace.

The question I asked myself was this – “Why didn’t I do something earlier?” With such minimal effort the issue was resolved in such a short space of time. I’d presumed that this issue was a permanent fixture and it hadn’t even occurred to me that there might be way to remove it. How often can this be said of many of life’s issues. They linger with us year after year, niggling away at us. Not too irritating that we take positive action to address them, but they stop us to scratch regularly only to forget about it for another day. I think that God occasionally reminds us that he is our healer and that even the most long standing of issues can be resolved. We sometimes just need to listen for his prompting and go with the leading of the holy spirit. And when we do this we typically find that God does something quite incredible, something that makes us stand up in amazement.

So don’t just accept things as they are, no matter how long standing the problem might be. God can resolve it because he does not want us to go through the whole of life living with the hurts of the past. Who knows, maybe today is the day when God says, “I want to do something really special for you today. You know that thing that’s been niggling you and holding you back? Well today I’m going to take it away; erase it completely.” Get ready to receive something wonderful from the father that loves you more than life itself.

Luke 4:18-19a

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

How do I find my purpose

How do I find my purpose?

Evidence shows that finding meaning and purpose in your life is one of the main contributing factors that leads to happiness. Knowing that your life has meaning and that you are valued and loved for who you are, and not what you contribute, leads to true joy and satisfaction. The difficulty is that many do not know what their purpose is in life and do not feel at all valued by others or God. Dare I say it, but christians can also be amongst those feeling as if their life lacks purpose.

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing” is something I’ve often heard said. It’s typically someone who changes jobs regularly, often buys new outfits or changes the style of their hair. They are normally the kind of person who complain a lot about life in general. They are restless. How do I know this? Because I was a complainer and job changer for much of my life!

I’ve always had great ambition, ever since I was a young man. Even though I’m somewhat older, that ambition for greater things remains very strong within me. At the age of eleven I made the decision to become a christian. I felt such a powerful sense of purpose and just knew that life was never going to be dull. I knew that there were great things in store for me. This wasn’t just because I’d been told this at church. I felt it within my very core. The problem I had was that I had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to be doing that was so important!

I was desperate to find out where it was I was going and arrive at my final destination. I didn’t realise that life was a journey. I had the tendency to focus on the end goal and not look at the here and now. What happened is that I often missed what God was trying to show me right then. I had very little ability to see what it was that I was supposed to be doing on any given day. For this reason I tended to be easily distracted.

The other problem that I suffered from was waiting. I was neither patient nor pro-active. Waiting for something to happen was my default position. “God should just do something as I try my best to wait.” And I did try my best to be patient but often I would lose interest and go and do something else instead, something not at all helpful like going out drinking with my friends or playing computer games for hours on end.

So what’s the answer I hear you say? Should I wait patiently, continually praying, reading my bible, meditating and practising being thoughtful? Perhaps then God will reveal what I am to do?

Well, yes and no. Do you want to know the answer to life’s biggest question – why am I here. Are you ready?

You’re here because YOU ARE his purpose. He purposed your very existence because he wanted you to exist and to be in relationship with you. He loves everything about you.

So what do you do with your time knowing that you are created for God’s enjoyment? Firstly, enjoy it. You can’t go wrong. How can you have any worries knowing that a loving God created you without making any mistakes. He designed you and planned out your life from start to end. So make every effort to live a life worthy of the investment that has been made in you.

Next, move into action and get out of your seat. Go out today and expect to see God’s purpose everywhere you go. There are no coincidences in God’s kingdom. He has purpose for you each and every day and provides continual opportunities for you to be of value in this world. No matter what anyone else thinks he sees all the good deeds you do and will reward you for each and every one. That’s not to say you are earning the approval of God; if you love him you already have it. No. You should simply want to please the one who loves you.

Go and speak to people and find out about them. Find out about their interests, passions, pains and potential. Be God’s purpose in the lives of those around you. Visit places and learn about the activities that go on there, the organisations that contribute to the local economy, the charities that seek to support those in need, the churches that seek to serve their local communities. Find out what’s on, where people gather, where they go to unwind. Find where God is leading you to be his purpose.

Don’t just make a difference but be a difference. Give it your best shot. You weren’t just designed to make a difference in this world, but you are the difference to this world. For God so loves you that he made you unique, gave you gifts and abilities and provides you opportunities to make a real and lasting impact.

So what are you waiting for? Get up and go. He’s with you all the way.


 

Col 1:10-13
Live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Change the Flavour

What we say doesn’t just reflect our mood, it affects are mood. More than that, it affects the mood of those around us.

It’s just so easy to join in on a good grumble about all the problems that we share at work, or at church, or in life in general. We might well be the instigator of such conversations without even realising it. Of course, everyone joins in; no-one wants to offend the person who is feeling down by telling them they are wrong.

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t saying anything at all.”

To be able to move on and get beyond problems that affect us we will need to deal with the way we talk. By continually complaining and grumbling we are actually telling ourselves that things will never be any different. We confirm that we believe that the problem is too difficult to overcome and list excuses why we should not even try. Complaining undermines hope.

How many times have we watch a hollywood film where one member of a group seems intent on spoiling the hero’s plans. They go against every good idea and grumble at any attempt to get out of the current peril. We recognise them instantly as the ‘baddy’ by their behaviour. The question is though, do we recognise when we’re being the baddy in our work, or in our homes, or with our friends?

To see our situation change we need to begin to change the flavour of our conversation. This might mean just being quiet and refusing to say anything negative about a person or situation. At first this will be difficult because we’re so used to joining in with everyone else. People will expect us to back them up when talking about how terrible things are.

Here are some suggestions on practical ways to change the way we speak.

  • Refuse to complain about a person or situation
  • Make a list of positives and focus on those instead
  • Stay quite and listen to others when they complain
  • Resist being draw in to a negative conversation
  • If necessary, make an excuse to go and do something else
  • Ask questions like, “Why do you thing that is?” or “What are you going to do?”
  • Don’t think yourself better than others just because you’re not joining in
  • Give thanks to God for the other person or situation

Dear God

I’m sorry for the times I have pulled others down by the way I have spoken. Forgive me for being negative and affecting the mood of those around me. Instead of using opportunities to build others up, I have acted in weakness and joined in the complaining. Help me to now to focus on the hope you have promised me, to change the way I talk, that I might be a blessing to others. Thank you for the MARVELLOUS work you are doing in my life. Thank you that you do not leave me in my situation forever but instead help me to overcome.

Amen

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the
body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life
on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
James 3:6
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Proverbs 21:23
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as
is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace
to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29