Join us for Eastminster’s 40acts Challenge to live generously for the next 40 days! Learn more.

It’s all too easy to focus on what we don’t have instead of being grateful for all that we do. When we’re stuck indoors, everything is cancelled and we may have very real concerns about our health, our finances and our loved ones, it is easy to forget to thank God in all circumstances. Today we want to switch out our moaning for praise and our complaints for blessings.

GREEN: Keep a whinge tin. Every time you complain, drop a coin in. At the end of the day, donate the cash. (You could also make the fine something else, like running another person’s errands.)
AMBER: As you go through the day, make a note of what people are moaning about and pledge to pray into those needs.
RED: Make your whinge tin public. Tell your team at work, your family, or your church community that you’re going to start one, and ask them to join you.

If someone believes they have a relationship with God but fails to guard his words, then his heart is drifting away and his religion is shallow and empty.’ 

James 1:26 TPT

The front door slams shut just as I realise I’ve forgotten my keys. There are signalling problems on my line (again). Forcing his way onto the already full train, a fellow commuter obliviously cracks my shin with his briefcase. Hobbling to the ticket barrier, I’m pushed aside by other passengers cutting in line to tap out first.

I utter a couple of words, but I confess: they’re definitely more of a curse than a blessing.

In these moments, it’s so easy to make a whingey comment, isn’t it? Often I have three or four lined up, ready to be unleashed: a few words under my breath; a sarky tone of voice; or, my personal favourite, an intentionally cutting remark to a friend whilst laughing light-heartedly – so it doesn’t count. The negativity grenade has entered the room.

But those words will either stick to you, or to the person you throw them at. Negativity either grows into part of your character and you become blind to it, or it ruins someone else’s morning and brings them down with you – creating an atmosphere of glass-half-empty complaints.

Maybe you thought you kept it to the minimum with just one tiny complaint, or that this time it doesn’t matter because you’re in the right! We’ve all been there…

Whether it’s the daily grind (where – I’ll be honest – my privilege and I could use a perspective shift on hardship), or whether it’s the seasons where life is really a desperate struggle, the scripture for this reflection does not become less true, or less relevant.

Yes, I need to renew my appetite for honouring God with every moment, every interaction, because he deserves no less. But I also need to be disciplined and intentional, keeping watch over the words that I say: they can speak louder than I know.

40Acts Challenge concept and content courtesy of Stewardship Services (UKET).

Rhian has worked at Stewardship since 2015 and manages our Philanthropy Services team, which serves the high-net-worth givers in the Stewardship family. She enjoys being busy behind the scenes of impactful and strategic generosity, and loves the people she gets to do this with.

Rhian lives in south-east London with her husband, and worships at their local church, St Peter’s Brockley.