The Complaining Challenge Bonus Day

Sunday November 19

It’s over. You made it. You survived and lived to tell the tale!

Let’s do some observation and see where we’re at. Reflection is always good and gives Holy Spirit room to course correct us as needed and encourage us!

  • Can you tell a difference in your thinking yet?
  • Is there a shift in your perceptive or overall outlook? Your point of view on certain people? Situations?
  • Is it a bit easier to identify grumbling, complaining and criticism? Is it becoming more obvious to you?
  • Can you tell a difference in your words? Are there less complaints and criticisms flowing out?
  • Can you tell a difference in relationships? In the atmosphere of your home? At work? Has anyone noticed?

Let me encourage you to keep going. I know it’s not easy. I felt all the challenges and difficulties you felt. But, I believe the difference it makes is worth the investment. It’s worth the struggle. The reward will be so much greater than the sacrifice.

Cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf says that it takes 63 days to change a habit. You are 7 days in. Seven days closer. Take this momentum and keep going. Keep journaling. Keep looking at these verses. Keep asking yourself the Reflection Questions. Talk about it with your husband and kids. Stay with your accountability partner.

One last suggestion, read the book of Proverbs. Read one chapter a day. Highlight and dig into all the verses about the mouth, tongue and words. These will give you a solid study for 31 days and will help you as you continue with this challenge!

Read Psalm 119:57-60, John 14:26, Philippians 1:6 and Galatians 6:7-9. Let Truth encourage you as you mediate on them. Journal what He is saying to you.

*Remember to ask yourself the Reflection Questions and record your answers when you end your day! AND connect with your accountability partner!

 

ps – a big “thank-you” to Tammy Forbes, Ellen Goulette​ and Tami Lindsay​ for all their help in proofing and editing our devotionals!

The Complaining Challenge Day 7

Saturday November 18

Let’s talk about those words. The words that originate from the thoughts in our hearts. It will take some time for the new thinking to take hold and create the positive words that we want to flow from our mouth. For a bit, our mouth may get ahead of us, spewing out complaints and criticisms. Until our thinking is renewed in this area, we’ll need to be just as intentional about our words as we are with our thoughts. As we choose to think thoughts of love, joy, peace, hope, thankfulness and praise, thoughts that honor and respect – we’ll also have to choose to say them. We will have to be intentional to say the love-filled, joyful, peaceful, hopeful thought – out loud. We speak words of encouragement, support and grace. We vocalize our thankfulness and declare our praise – out loud, even if no one is there to hear it. Even someone IS there to hear it. We let these new positive thoughts become we the new words we say.

I’ll be honest: it might seem awkward at first. It might even sound corny to let those types of words slip from your lips. You might even have a sense of embarrassment. But don’t get discouraged. Don’t let that stop you. Those words are sweeter than you think – to your own lips and to the ears of those who hear them. And in time, those will be the words that easily flow from your heart, through your mouth, without even giving it a second thought.

Ruminate on these verses and see what Holy Spirit is speaking to you: James 1:26, Proverbs 13:3, Proverbs 16:24, Proverbs 21:3, Psalm 141:3, Ephesians 4:29, and Colossians 4:6.

*Remember to ask yourself the Reflection Questions and record your answers when you end your day! AND connect with your accountability partner!

The Complaining Challenge Day 6

Friday November 17

By now I’m sure you’ve realized just how much you complain and criticize. You see how many “opinions” you have (message reference!). It seems as if nothing is off limits. Almost every area of our life was built using the building materials of complaining and criticism.

As we dismantle the enemy’s stronghold, we can’t just leave that space empty. We’ve got to establish and build a new fortress – one that is built on Truth in partnership with Holy Spirit. So we have to be intentional about filling our mind with thankfulness, gratitude, appreciation, gratefulness, respect, honor, and love. We must control our thinking and point it in the direction of love, joy, peace and hope. Choosing to be thankful in every situation, for every situation. Choosing to praise Him, despite the frustrations and disappointments. Purposefully fixing our thoughts on Truth, filling our mind so completely with the positive, that the negative, complaining, and criticizing thoughts have nowhere to land. No space to take root. We have to choose to look through the lens of love, joy, peace, hope, thankfulness and praise so that the negative is hard to see.

We can do this when we soak our heart in Truth by reading & memorizing the Bible. By inviting Holy Spirit to convict us when we start down the path of complaining, criticizing and arguing. Instead of going on auto-pilot, we pay attention to the words we are saying. Instead of just closing our mouth, we address the root of it in our heart. We can’t let our mind meander aimlessly, because it will take us right back into complaining and criticism. It’s what our mind knows, it’s what we’re familiar with.

The good news is; we are not alone in this. Jesus will help us – wants to help – empower and supply us with grace, because this is a task bigger than ourselves.

Meditate on, Philippians 2:3, Philippians 4:6-13, 1Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 5:20 and Philippians 2:13. What is He showing you today?

*Be sure to ask yourself the Reflection Questions and record your answers when you end your day! AND connect with your accountability partner!