My Stupid Mouth | Week 1: Don’t Be a Whiney-Hiney – Complaining
Words don’t just make noise. They communicate meaning, define relationships and impact your future. Our words can give life or take life; they can build up or tear down. What you say says something about you. In Week 1 of My Stupid Mouth, we learned that when we complain, we aren’t “just venting…” we are telling God that He does not know what He is doing. Complaining tells God that we are at the center of our story, not Him. When we make Jesus the center of our story, our perspective can change, even when our circumstances stay the same.
- Read Exodus 14:11-12. The Israelites wanted to go back to “the way it used to be” even though that meant slavery to the Egyptians. Have you ever found yourself complaining that things just weren’t the same anymore in a relationship, a job, or life in general? What made it so hard? What are some ways your life is better now?
- Often, God forces us out of what is comfortable to step into what is possible; but the in-between is usually difficult. When we focus on the problem or pain, it’s hard to focus on the promise. What would it change in your life if, instead of asking God “Why can’t this be different?” we asked Him “How are You using this to make me different?”
- Sunday’s message said, “The problem is that we’ve taken our eyes off of the goodness of God and we’ve placed them dead center on ourselves.” Why does selfishness make complaining so much easier? Where might your complaining point to selfishness in your life?
- The message said that there are three ways to handle a negative situation: change what we say about it, how we think about it, and what we see in those circumstances. Is there a negative situation in your life where one or more of these would be helpful?
- Read Philippians 2:17-18. Paul wasn’t living for himself, but for God; so it didn’t ruin or discourage him when life didn’t go the way he expected. What is your “Even If?” In other words, what is that situation in your life that, even if it hasn’t gone or might not go as you would hope, you will still say, “I am glad and rejoice….”
- Read Psalm 103:2-4. Note what God says to do (Praise Him, don’t forget what He has done) and why the passage says to do it. Look at the operative words there… forgiven, healed, redeemed, and crowned with love and compassion. How would it change your life if, before you complained about stuff, you remembered how much God loves you and cares for you?
Do you believe God knows what He is doing? Part of following Jesus each day is trusting God with all of those things that are so easy to complain about. Focus on one specific situation in your life that you don’t have the best attitude about right now. Choose to trust God with that situation and believe that He is control. Save an image to your phone, or write down on a 3x5 card “Trusting > Complaining.” Spend time each morning asking God to help you trust Him with that situation. If you are married, ask your spouse to pray with you.
CHANGING YOUR MIND
Do everything without complaining or arguing… shining like bright lights . . . Philippians 2:14-15