Friday, September 14, 2012

Grumbling, Gossip, Grudges... and Chipped Shoulders

There are a lot of grumpy people in the world. I used to be one of them. Oh, I still get a little grumpy at times, but it doesn't last long and I can usually work through it and get over it in record time now. It wasn't always that way, though. See, there was a time when whatever someone said to me either made me angry, grumpy, or upset. I would then go through a process of re-living the moment over and over in my head, trying to figure out how I could have handled it better, or what I could have said differently to stop the insults and intimidation, or how I could have just avoided the situation entirely. Before long, I would have made myself so upset that I was sick!

Over the course of time, I just got to the point of immediately going on defense whenever someone wanted to talk to me. In addition to that, I incorporated an attitude of "strike first and get the upper hand." I had watched this from various family members, friends, and a few teachers, so I learned a great deal about intimidation and control. If I could "get my bluff in" on the people around me, then I maintained control. However, many times that backfired. Oh who am I kidding? It ALWAYS backfired! I had no idea that this was not the way to gain friends, or respect from anyone. In fact, what it did was quite the opposite. But of course, I learned the hard way.

"Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God, without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation..." ~Philippians 2:14-15a

Thank God that He never gave up on me! Jesus never meant for us to be alone or without friends. But it IS okay for us to get mad.... just don't sin in the process. Get over it and move on. There is no need to "get your bluff in" early, or at all. There is no need for grumbling, gossip, grudges, or even carrying a chip on your shoulder. Because all those things cause sickness. 

Whether it's upset stomach, headache, depression, or loneliness, we often become our own worst enemy when we try to blame everyone around us for our own mistakes. Then we try to drag others into our pit to try to gain support, often twisting the truth just so much as to turn the situation in our favor. We become very bitter people.

"Be angry, and do not sin." Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil." ~Ephesians 4:26-27 

So learn from your mistakes! Let Jesus help you get over yourself. And let Him also help you with handling those around you who want to grumble, or gossip, or hold grudges, or try to chip at your shoulders with the chips on their own. Because frankly, you have no use for it. Get out of it, get over it, and let's continue down the road to forgiveness! You will be much happier when you do.

What could you let go of today?


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