by Rick Warren — June 17, 2022
From The Habits of Happiness
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
Fretting and fighting over the small stuff will always cause you to lose your happiness.
This is a hard habit to break because people are negative by nature and conditioned by culture. Ever since Adam and Eve, we have been going around excusing and accusing. We excuse ourselves for the mistakes we make, and we also accuse everybody else for our mistakes.
We say, “If I just had a different spouse, then I’d be happy. If I had just never gotten married, then I’d be happy. If I just had children, then I’d be happy. If my children would leave home, then I would be happy.”
That’s “when and then” thinking. But you are as happy as you choose to be! You can’t blame anybody else for your unhappiness because happiness is a choice. You have to stop excusing and accusing; you have to stop fretting and fighting over the small stuff.
The Bible says, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure” (Philippians 2:14-15 NIV).
Those may be some of the most difficult verses in the Bible. But the scariest verse in the Bible to me is Matthew 12:36, where Jesus says, “And I tell you that on the Judgment Day people will be responsible for every careless thing they have said” (NCV).
That ought to send shivers up your spine. How many times have you complained, grumbled, or argued about something when you shouldn’t have been sweating the small stuff? The first law of life is this: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Law number two is this: It’s almost all small stuff!
The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (NIV).
Study after study has shown that gratitude is the healthiest attitude.
What do you have to be thankful for? Remember, no matter what is going on in your life, God is always with you, God is always in you, and God is always for you.
That’s cause for gratitude, not grumbling.