September 10, 2012

Taming the Tongue

After writing this, I considered not sharing it.  I don't know if readers will disagree or agree, but I want to share because my own tongue needs to be tamed.

Sometimes we share to help put things in perspective.  To have a sounding board.  With the right counsel, we can be set straight again with proper perspective.  But to do that, we must have the proper sounding board, not just "yes friends."

It seems that we, women in particular, have the need to vent.  We complain, and then our friends often commiserate with us.  Not only does a friend offer a listening ear, but she understands, or at least considers, our perspective and helps us to feel better.  Maybe we just want a bigger pity party.

But really, through all of the complaining, we are not benefiting the situation, ourselves, or anyone else.  We may feel better after complaining, but it does not change the real problem-our lack of gratitude.  I write this because I need to remind myself of that.  I don't think I am always a complainer, but I do have the tendency to make "observations" that are not always so kind to the circumstance.

Now that I use Facebook, I see more and more who gripe about the big and the little.  Sometimes it is cute and appropriate, I might add...you know, when someone shares that their child just did that shocking thing.  I may be amused that you saw a mouse, three spiders, and a snake in your garage today.  But other times, it is not cute.  It is just complaining...especially about people.

Here at This Simple Home, I try to keep my posts positive, though honest.  I could tell you about the personality "conflicts" between my children.  The bickering.  The frustration.  My lack of effective parenting.  But I don't want to complain.  I did, however, share briefly about my response to some of these situations, because it was a new understanding for me.   I'm not able to articulate much more than that, at this time, nor am I certain if I want to in this forum.  However, it was clear to me from the comments and emails that my blogging friends appreciated that candor.  One thing I do understand is that if I only offer the negative/problems/complaints, then I am only venting.  That is not beneficial to my readers.  (Nor is it glorifying to God, which I do care about, even if some of my readers do not.)  Unless I can articulate a solution, I will stay mum.  The struggle is to remain "real" to the readers here...for you to know that all is not perfect in This Simple Home, but I am really attempting to be content with where I am and all of my circumstance.

My regular readers know that I am a Christian.  I feel that it is important for me to carefully consider what I place online (on the blog or Facebook).  I do not use harsh (or crude) language in life, and have noticed that while others do...though it doesn't help their "cause."

I want to tame my tongue...and my heart.  I need to replace my bad attitude with gratitude.  For me, I think that means focusing not on myself or my situation, but on my heavenly Father.

This post is for me...though it may benefit you, too.  It is my attitude that must change.  It is my heart that must boast of gratitude for all that I have.

A few things have been helping...and convicting...me recently.  The books The Beautiful Wife and Choosing Gratitude (linked to my thoughts) and Proverbs 31, including this verse (from the ESV).

Edited: Please do read the comments below for some great insight and bit of discussion.

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

7 comments:

  1. It is a fine line between being real and not complaining. Once on a medical e-mail group, I felt I had to always be positive to be a good testimony so didn't share if I was having a hard day or struggling. But a Christian friend there suggested to me that not only was it less than honest to act as if I didn't have any struggles, but showing that I did and how God helped me through them could minister more to people than pasting a virtual fake smile on. That has happened on my blog as well.

    I think, too, what we think of as complaining isn't always. I know some people who would take the statement, "It sure is hot today" as a complaint. To me that's just an honest observation, though it certainly could be said with a whine and a complaining attitude. But David poured out his heart to the Lord in psalms that were then sung publicly, and Paul shared of the things he suffered without complaining. He even spoke of other people's sins and named names when necessary, but only when it was needed and not out of malice.

    We do need much wisdom to know the difference and to rely on God's grace to be thankful.

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    Replies
    1. Barbara, you are so right about all of that...and it really goes back to the person's heart attitude.

      Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts!

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  2. I agree with Barbara's comment and your thoughts. There's this VERY fine line between being real and complaining. I know I don't always walk that line correctly, but I do try.

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  3. Yes, I agree with you and those who have commented. There is a fine line. Overall, being honest and forthright without creeping into complaining is a bit of a dance.

    Sometimes tone, which can be read into statements and comments when not really present is hard to contend with as well.

    Funny how it seems in the moment, we concentrate on the negative, but in reflection (sometimes years later) we remember the positive. Life is hard, but there is much joy to share with one another as well.

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  4. Yes. I agree with Barbara.

    I think your post is spot on. You clearly took the time to think through the issue and I love that you do it in light of what you are learning and as the Lord is leading (and convicting - ow!) you. It gives me pause and food for thought as well.

    Good post. I guess I don't have much more to add....

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  5. Thank you, Friends, for your encouragement and your own wise words. Yes, I have been quite convicted lately. This post is a reflection of that!

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  6. I'm really trying to change what I post since last May. I'm not always perfect, but I think I complain a lot less. I hope!!

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!