"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength." [Proverbs 17:22]
I read this verse a few days ago while doing my daily devotionals, and it convicted me a little bit. I stopped to think about it a little bit, and realized that not always would I use the word "cheerful" to describe the condition of my heart. I felt convicted when I started thinking about how "cheerful" I was at work when frustrated, how cheerful I act when I don't get my way, how cheerful I was when I feeling anxious, how cheerful I was while waiting for something I want, etc.
If I truly believe happiness is a choice, and I DO, then being cheerful must really be the choice. The choice to be cheerful must go before the choice to be happy. I don't think it's possible to be happy, while also being grumpy.
So as of today, Monday, I am going on a week long mission to have a cheerful heart. This week, I am going to fast from complaining, despite whatever circumstances I might find myself in.
"Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys"
I think having a cheerful heart is a combination of a few of things.
1. Stop complaining. Complaining is not productive, its not beneficial, and often it creates more discontent in my heart than it helps.
2. Count your blessings. This is probably the most annoying thing you can be told when you are feeling grumpy, but really, just today, I caught myself wanting to complain about having to work a different shift than usual at work until I stopped myself, and realized how nice it was to sleep in, have breakfast with my man, and get laundry and house work done all before coming to work. There is always, always a blessing to be found in any circumstance.
3. Stop wrong thinking. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. " [Philipians 4:8] Negative thinking is destructive, and our thoughts control our attitudes, our words, and our actions. If I can recognize a negative, wrong thought, and stop it before it takes hold in my head and heart, I can replace it with what is true, what is good, what is lovely. "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." [2 Corinthians 10:5]
Join me on my week long fast from complaining. I already know God is going to do some major work in my heart this week.