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I am wondering if you ever find yourself falling into the same trap I find myself falling into? It has to do with complaining. And, yes, it has to do with me complaining.

In my opinion, there is an excessive amount of negativing in our world today. Face Book ... sound bites ... publications .... conversations - all are overloaded with attacks, complaints and a harshness that has zero chance of producing anything positive. I don’t like it, and I wish people would get over their anger issues and grow up.

And then I go, “OOPS! I’ve just done it again! I have fallen back into the trap of complaining about the complainers.” That certainly leaves me no better than them. Complaining about the weather, or another person or complaining about complainers is all the same. And I would be much happier with myself if I would just simply avoid that trap altogether.

But I hope you don’t expect that to mean that I will be keeping this trap shut!

I have always believed that when people say, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all,” the challenge is to find something good to say. Simply closing one’s mouth may be the easy way out, but not the desired. By the way, how many compliments does it usually take to counterbalance a criticism?

“Bless the Lord, Oh my soul. Bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who Redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103.1-4). Every time I fall into that trap, I am “forgetting all his benefits.” And that would give my Redeemer every right to complain about me!

But, instead “he draws me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and sets my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He puts a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.’ (Psalm 40.2-3)

What a stark contrast. All complainers do ... including those who complain about complainers ... is drag others down ... and, in order to drag someone down, the dragger has to go down, too! Thus, we end up trapped together in our negativity.

My suggestion? Every time you see this trap before you, follow think of Psalm 40 ... and don’t forget to notice verse one. Offer a smile, or a hug, or a piece of your favorite pie. And, before you know it, you will find them ... along with yourself ... falling into a different trap ... that trap of “a new song in your mouth, a song of praise to our God.”

And you will never hear me complain about that.

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