If I can go the next fourteen hours without complaining I will have made it 21 consecutive days without uttering a complaint. During Lent I have encouraged our congregation to take this 21 day challenge. The idea came from Will Bowen who has written two books about the idea.
Going 21 days without complaining was very hard. I learned a lot about myself.
I learned that when I am in the car I make comments about other people’s driving. I didn’t realize how often I do this until I started this 21 day challenge.
I learned that I will sometimes make comments that seem to be funny, but are really complaints about another person.
I learned that I am highly susceptible to complaining when I go shopping with my daughter, Hannah.
And I learned the difference between complaining and sharing a statement of fact.
I shared two sermons on these issues. The last one in the series can viewed at: https://vimeo.com/120980227
The idea of going 21 days without complaining is not meant for everyone. Some folks have lives where intentionally trying not to complain does not make sense.
This idea is also not meant to silence people and is not meant to be used as a power play to prevent others from sharing ideas or news that we might like.
No idea or program is perfect.
However I do think that going through this process has been helpful for me. I learned things about myself that I didn't realize. And I learned yet again how reliant I am on God. I messed up many times. I first started this process in early January. It’s now late March. You can see that I went back to day one many times. I don’t think I could have gone 21 days (assuming that the next fourteen hours go well) without complaining if I hadn’t asked help on a daily basis from God. I can’t become the person I want to be without God's direction and help.
I would encourage everyone who is reading this blog to try to go 21 days without complaining. What have you got to lose? And you might learn quite a lot about yourself.