The other day, we were enjoying a time of celebration with some friends and family. While most of the discussion was frivolous, fun, and positive, one of my relatives had many negative and pessimistic comments that impacted some people’s enjoyment of the occasion.
Everybody has a couple of sour apples on their family tree … you know, the ones who are grumpy no matter what the circumstances. Sure, they are cranky and negative when facing adversity or stressful situations. But sometimes they are grumpy even when the situation is neutral or positive, because that is just their view of life.
Why do we get grumpy? One common reason is that situations, people, things, life, aren’t going the way we planned. We feel hurt … we have to accept a different plan or agenda … we are disrupted or become uncomfortable. It’s amazing how we subliminally develop such a sense of entitlement … that an event or our entire day should always go our way … that all our wishes and demands, get granted. How dare God not grant all our wishes and desires?
So when events or circumstances don’t go our way, why do we respond with negativity, nastiness, and grumpiness? How is that going to help improve the situation? Negativity will just push people away and increase their negativity toward you. But sometimes the feeling is so strong, it flows out unfiltered and we don’t realize its impact. We also get attached to our need to immediately feel better, and in some odd, weird way, being grumpy gives us a sense of control, power, and attention. In reality, what we think is a self-protective response is actually a self-destructive response.
Today, if you feel nastiness coming on and you are tempted to grumble, try this: go to God and talk it out. Ask Him to reveal to you why He gave you something different than what you expected or wanted. Get in His word and seek Him. As you open up to Him, He will put His thoughts in Your mind and His song in your heart. The key … open up to Him! Stop being an entitled and self-centered downer in life.
Dear Father, I grumble and complain more than I like to admit. There are so many things that tick me off … so many things I want to be different in me, in others, and in the world. I realize it is my natural tendency to brood over these things and take it out on others who are close to me. I see now that the longer I focus on these things, the more likely I am to grumble. Even when I get control of my spoken words, my thoughts are full of complaints. Help me talk with You about these matters. I thank You, Lord, for listening and caring. Even if You choose not to change my circumstance, my communion with You alone will put Your song in my heart. I pray this in the name of the one who graciously accepted all You brought into His life, Jesus Christ – and all God’s children say, AMEN!
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.