Our attitudes and actions are greatly influenced by the words we speak. We all know firsthand that when we open our mouths without thinking, often we can bring ourselves down spiritually and hurt others in the process.
For example, how many times have you heard yourself say things such as, "I'm sick of cleaning this house," "You're driving me nuts today," or "This job is killing me"? Words like that don't bring anything positive into our lives. And it's important that we not take them lightly. Proverbs 21:23 says, "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles" (AMP).
It's important to practice saying things we really want to say and to remember to be thankful for what we have. Because even when blessings are chasing us down, if we're not careful, we can still find reasons to be negative and complain.
Keep on Counting Your Blessings
It really is amazing how fast we can forget about the good things God has done for us. After He miraculously parted the Red Sea and delivered the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, "the whole congregation of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness" (Ex. 16:2). In other words, they forgot about the miraculous deliverance God provided for them and put their focus on the things they didn't have. It's easy to complain when our circumstances aren't exactly what we want them to be. But many times it's our attitude that keeps us right where we are.
Philippians 2:14 clearly tells us, "Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves]." When you're tempted to complain, think how much easier it would be to remain thankful and say, "God, I remember the good things You've done for me and I'm thankful for the breakthrough that is on the way."
Give God the Praise He Deserves
Whether we're happy with our circumstances or not, giving God praise is so important. Psalm 91:2 says, "I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!" What have you been saying of the Lord?
If there's an area in your life where you're having a hard time staying positive, try doing a 30-day fast from complaining. Replace any negative words with positive words—and give God something to work with. You may still make mistakes from time to time, but God is faithful and you can trust that He'll help you get your mouth into complete agreement with His Word if you won't give up.
You'll find that when you are sincerely positive and your words agree with God's Word, it helps others be positive too, and people will come to you when they want to be encouraged. On top of that, you'll be the kind of person they won't even bother coming to when they want to complain, because they'll know you won't join them.
Confuse the Enemy With Your Words
When we trust God more than our feelings, it confuses the devil. When he gives you his best shot and can't budge you from believing God, he won't know what to do with you. King David learned that when he was just a boy.
In 1 Samuel 17:45-46, David said to the giant Goliath, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts. ... This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand." He followed up his words with bold action. David ran quickly toward the battle line, killed Goliath and won his victory.
When we're facing giants in our life, that's exactly the way we need to behave. Don't ever run at your enemy with a mixture of faith and doubt in your mouth. Let the devil know whom he's dealing with!
God will give you the victory if you will keep on agreeing with Him and speaking His Word. Say what God would say, even when you don't feel like it. Praise Him regardless of what's happening around you.
You don't have to give in to careless speech or complaining. You don't have to let your feelings get in the way of what God wants to do in your life. Beginning today, you can choose to focus on the many things He's done for you—and start speaking boldly about the breakthroughs that are yet to come.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and You Can Begin Again. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce, visit charismamag.com/meyer.