by Rick Warren — February 6, 2023
From Living in the Goodness of God
“In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing.”
Philippians 2:14 (TLB)
If you want to move from an overwhelmed life to an overflowing life, there are three things you need to start doing and three things you need to stop doing.
Today we’ll look at the first pair: Start being grateful, and stop complaining.
Studies have shown that gratitude produces chemicals in your brain—dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin—that make you feel peaceful and happy.
An attitude of gratitude is something you can start the moment you wake up. Before you get out of bed, make a list of things you’re grateful for. For example, your list might say, “God, I’m grateful for air; I’m grateful for this bed; I’m grateful I’m not in danger.” Even if you can’t think of anything to be grateful for, the simple act of trying to be grateful will change your brain chemistry.
The Bible says, “In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing” (Philippians 2:14 TLB).
When you complain about something, how does that help you? If you complain about the weather, does it change the weather? If you complain about the way you look, does it change the way you look? If you complain about your spouse, your children, or your job, does it change any of those things?
Complaining is a total waste of time. It’s stewing without doing. It’s worthless. Complaining will never make you feel better. Instead, God wants your life to “overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done” (Colossians 2:7 TLB).
Sometimes people will say to me, “You know, Pastor Rick, I just want to know God’s will. What does God want me to do in my relationship? What does he want me to do in my career? What does he want me to do in school?”
“Always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 TLB). Why would God teach you step two when you haven’t done step one? If you want to know God’s will on who to marry, God wants you to do step one—always be thankful—and then you can move on to step two, then step three, and so on.
If you want to live an overflowing life rather than an overwhelmed life, stop complaining, and start being grateful.