Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chronic behaviors and the words we speak

As a kid growing up in a Catholic household, I vaguely remember my mom avoiding certain foods during the 40 days of Lent. I had no idea why we did it; to me it was an annoyance because I couldn't eat some of my favorite foods.

Many years down the road, a few more grey hairs, and six years of chronic illness has led me to take another look at the idea of Lent. Not for food - for my words! Why? I was inspired by a blog post entitled "This Article Sucks (can you go just one day without complaining"). It was rather liberating to see that someone else (who I never would have suspected) was struggling with her words like I was!

Chronic behaviour

Did you know that behaviours can become chronic? The first one that jumps to my mind is complaining. Like any bad habit, it can be VERY hard to stop!

They say that pain becomes chronic when it has persisted six months or longer. What do you supposed happens when I have allowed my complaining to last for years? What happens when my need to speak out and have someone feel sorry for me is as strong as the flareup that triggered it? I might enjoy the attention for a few seconds, but will I enjoy the harvest (remorse, depression, guilt, more pain) that it brings into my life? No, yet the desire to speak those life-sucking words is almost impossible to resist.

Proverbs 18:20-21

Being around someone who is always complaining (or just plain negative) is like having the life force out of you. I don't EVER want to be that person - do you??

Choosing wisely

While I messed up on my goal of giving up complaining for Lent, that doesn't mean I'm giving up entirely - I just need to keep at it. I also know I can't change on my own, but with God ALL things are possible! Jesus even said that all I need to do is ask, in His Name, and it will be done for me (John 14:13-14). Perhaps the next time I feel like complaining and dragging everyone down with me, I should choose life-giving, uplifting words.

What do you think?

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      And God said...