Christian

The Holiday Challenge You’ll Never Forget!

Do you think you could go a whole month without complaining even once?

I visited my Dad’s church Sunday and Pastor Mike challenged the whole congregation to go for a whole month without complaining.

Our family took on the challenge (all 8 of us). Christina had the idea that if you complained about something, you had to sing your words! Here are a couple of the “songs” that were sung at dinner that night:

“Is that kale in my salad?”

“I thought we were eating at 6:45!”

Christina and Patricia making dinner

Get the idea? Needless to say, it was a lot of fun! Not only that, it cut down on complaining because everyone was being careful not to. And if anyone came even close to complaining, the others immediately made the guilty party sing it!

After I was caught complaining, I said, “But I’m just stating a fact!” Guess what? If the fact is negative, that’s complaining!

Our family kept this up for about 3 hours and I learned something. We complain and don’t even realize we’re doing it! (That is, until you get caught!)

So why take this family holiday challenge? God says,

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16 NIV

Shine among them like stars in the sky

And don’t forget how the Israelites complained in the wilderness after being set free from bondage and witnessing one miracle after another. (That’s a whole post in itself!)

“All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!” Numbers 14:2 NIV

Have you ever been around anyone who never complained? Pretty nice isn’t it? Have you ever been around anyone who complained constantly? Not so nice! It’s pretty straight forward. Complainers don’t make bright stars in the darkness.

Complaining has negative health effects.

God knows that complaining isn’t good for us. If only we would just obey Him! Science has proven that complaining is unhealthy. Consider this.

  1. Complaining changes the way people see you. “According to Travis Bradberry, PhD, “Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you.”
  2. Complaining causes brain damage. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus—an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought. Damage to the hippocampus is scary, especially when you consider that it’s one of the primary brain areas destroyed by Alzheimer’s.
  3. Complaining has negative health effects. When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. One effect of cortisol, for example, is to raise your blood pressure and blood sugar…  All the extra cortisol released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It even makes the brain more vulnerable to strokes.

So I challenge you to accept the “Don’t Complain Challenge”. For one month you can’t complain about anything. See what happens. Pastor Mike guarantees that it will make you a happier, healthier, and more positive person. You will not only feel better, you will become a person others like to be around.

You will be “seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world, Holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life…” Philippians 2:15b-16a AMPC

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

You can listen to Pastor Mike’s energizing sermon at https://www.wesleymethodist.org/sermons

Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0.

Cover Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

Stars Photo by Farid Askerov on Unsplash

Hospital Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Bible, Christian

Does Complaining Make You Feel Better?

That’s why we complain isn’t it? To feel better. After all, I’ve got to get this off my chest! I need to vent!”

But does it really make you feel better? I decided to do an experiment. What would happen if, instead of complaining, I thanked God.

Here’s what happened. The more I complained about my situation (to other people), the angrier I got. But when I thanked God for the positives in this situation, the more at peace I became.

What does God’s Word say about it?

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16 NIV

The Amplified Bible makes it crystal clear: ” … in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness], 16 holding out and offering to everyone the word of life.”

God knows that when we complain, it has a negative effect on us. In other words, it isn’t healthy. But more than that, a person who doesn’t complain is refreshing to be around. That person shines like a star in the darkness holding out the word of life.

The Israelites complained about everything after God brought them out of Egypt. We tend to think, “How can they complain after God so spectacularly brought them out of slavery?” But are we any different? Hasn’t God brought us out of bondage to sin, and yet we complain about every little thing?

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.”

I chuckle every time I read the following passage written by Beth Moore from her book, Breaking Free. She states the exact opposite of Philippians 4:6-7 to drive home a point.

“Do not be calm about anything, but in everything, by dwelling on it constantly and feeling picked on by God, with thoughts like, ‘and this is the thanks I get,’ present your aggravations to everyone you know but Him. And the acid in your stomach, which transcends all milk products, will cause you an ulcer, and the doctor bills will give you a heart attack and you will lose your mind!”

It’s funny because that’s what we do!

Next, I did some research. And there’s plenty of information on it. Consider this article from Penn State University.

“Complaining is also bad for your health. When you complain, your body releases more of the hormone that shifts a human into fight-or-flight mode, the hormone known as cortisol. This directs oxygen, blood, and energy from any system that is not crucial to survival. Frequent complaining results in extra cortisol being released, which puts a person more at risk for high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and strokes.

So what can we do to stop ourselves from complaining? Every time you find yourself making a negative observation, make a positive one instead. It is recommended that a person takes time to think about what they’re grateful for. Doing this can reduce cortisol by 23%, according to research at the University of California, Davis. Decreasing the amount you complain will have an overall more positive impact on your health. So why not start today?”¹

So now science is saying what God said almost 2,000 years ago! I’m convinced. It’s time for me to stop complaining.

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

 

¹https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/2016/10/21/what-does-complaining-do-to-your-brain/

Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash