DON’T LIKE SOMETHING? GIVE GOD THANKS AND PRAISE ANYWAY!
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain (Philippians 2:14-16 New King James Version).
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 New Living Translation).
As much as I try to stay positive, I can also be extremely critical. I prefer things done a certain way and I don’t often hesitate to share my “humble” opinion. Hey, we all have opinions, right? I’ve realized (or perhaps I’ve always known) I don’t necessarily need to share my critical opinion of things unless it really is going to bring benefit to the hearer. Sharing how I feel to the wrong person could potentially misconstrue the context of whatever it is I’m trying to say, and this would not be a good thing.
The Lord said something very profound to me last night regarding this. I have been particularly critical of an area of ministry where I am currently not serving. I’ve managed to pick it apart and compare it with past experiences and pontificate how it could be better. First, the Lord had to shake some sense into me, reminding me how it is not all about me. Then He proceeded to tell me if I didn’t like something, praise and thank Him for it anyway. In this moment of correction, I saw how my negative, critical speaking has impacted the growth and spiritual health of this ministry, as well as giving the wrong impression to others. He spoke to my heart and told me if it was change I wanted, I needed to be grateful for what He has already provided before change could be facilitated.
Today I ask that we all take an inward look at ourselves. What kind of an impression are we making? Are we constantly speaking negative things about the ministry, the church, and our brethren? Do we always feel we could do something better than someone else? God wants us to give thanks and praise, for and in all things.
We, as Christians, need to be very guarded about what comes out of our mouth. James 3:5-12 says “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.” Jesus also said in Matthew 15:18 “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.”
Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for blessing us with life today! You have rained many blessings down upon us just by waking us up! This is a beautiful morning and even more beautiful because we have You! Father, forgive us for not checking our words before speaking; forgive us for complaining and whining when we should be rejoicing! Father, help us to be more aware of those around us so that we can season our conversations with salt and that Your light shines through us. Father, Set a guard, O LORD, over our mouths; keep watch over the doors of our lips. May the sparks that the enemy kindles not become the forest fires that he so delights in; may the water of Your Holy Spirit wash over us and put out the sparks. Grant us discernment to know when to speak and when to be silent. Cover us with grace so that we may extend it to those that cause us to want to grip and complain and gossip. Father, we love You and we seek to know You more. We give You all glory, all honor and we bow down in worship at Your feet! Thank You for hearing our prayer this morning, thank You for the many blessings You bestow upon us when we rise each morning, and thank You for Your discipline, Your encouragement, Your instruction and Your Spirit. We come before You in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: We all have areas where we are critical and haughty, instead of complaining about it, give God thanks and praise for it. What He does after that will be amazing! Tame your tongue, guard your heart, and let your light shine!
Additional Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Job 6, 24; Psalm 15