THE GRUMBLING GAME
"Declan," said Mom, "will you come and dry these dishes, please?"
"Can't Dara do it?" Declan asked. "I'm sick of drying dishes!"
Dara rolled her eyes. "You're always sick of one thing or another."
Dad looked up from his computer. "We seem to get the 'sick of something' illness too often around here," he said. "We're about as bad as the Israelites, who complained constantly in spite of all the good things God did for them."
Mom nodded. "I have an idea for a game we can play to help us learn to stop grumbling and complaining. When one of us is caught saying we're sick of something, we have to say one thing we're thankful for about that same thing."
"Okay," said Dara. "You won't catch me!"
But all Declan said was, "Huh!"
The next day, Dara walked in from school with a bulging backpack. "I'm so sick of all this homework!" she said.
"Oh really?" Declan replied. "And what about your homework are you thankful for?" he asked with a grin.
"Oh no!" Dara smiled and shook her head. "I guess I'm thankful it helps me understand more of what we're learning at school."
A bit later, Dara bumped into her brother as he was walking to the table with a glass of milk. "You never watch where you're going!" he said, grabbing a napkin to wipe the milk off his shirt. "It makes me sick!"
"I'm sorry, Declan," Dara said. Then she grinned. "But what about me are you thankful for?"
Declan looked startled for a moment. "Well, I guess I'm thankful you're not twins," he finally said.
Dara sputtered and started after him.
"Okay, okay," Declan said with a laugh, halting their chase around the kitchen table. "I'm thankful you're always willing to take over my chores when I'm sick."
Dara smiled. "That's better."
"You guys seem to be getting the hang of this," said Mom, who had overhead everything from the living room. "I think this grumbling game is helping you see the blessings God has put in your lives. When we focus on all He's given us--and all Jesus has done for us--we may soon find there's really nothing to complain about."
– VERA M. HUTCHCROFT
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you have a habit of grumbling and complaining? God was not pleased when the Israelites complained instead of trusting Him to care for them, and He’s not pleased when His children complain today. When you catch yourself grumbling, stop and remember all God has given you—including His own Son to die for your sin. Then think of a reason to thank God for the thing you were complaining about.
Do everything without complaining or arguing. (Philippians 2:14, ERV)
Turn complaints into thanks.