15 days ago I wrote this post about embarking on 14 days of no complaining. When Jeremy and I first talked about this, like a true husband who would love to never hear his wife mention (okay fine, whine about) how messy their house is ever again he asked "Why don't you just go for a month and make it a habit?". Ha ha, slightly self serving, but good suggestion regardless.
I wish that I could look back now, 15 days later and say that I never complained in the last 14 days, that the Spirit has produced so much fruit in me. I started out strong, I started out not verbally complaining for the first several days... I may have even made it a week. But just as I mentioned in the initial post, just because I stopped the actual action didn't mean that the heart changed. So although I was determined not to let a complaint leave my mouth I would still catch them welling up in my thoughts and then try to suppress them and fight to not let them out. My heart wasn't transformed, my heart still saw the same things it saw before, and still had the same reaction whether I made others aware of it or not. The whole problem was still that I was doing this and fighting this on my own. Nothing other than the power of the Holy Spirit can produce the love, gentleness, patience etc. necessary for my heart (and therefore thoughts)to be transformed and to be completely free from all of this complaining. So in its' own way trying to quit complaining for 14 days just for the sake of quiting complaining is like instituting a law, following a set of rules, rather than living in love and relationship with my Lord and letting my actions overflow from that. It made me anxious to hold in my thoughts and not be able to express them, I was so afraid of complaining because I didn't want to break "the law" that I analyzed everything that I said before I spoke to make sure that it wasn't a complaint. This wasn't speaking in freedom and in peace as I know that I'm free to do in Christ, it was acting out of fear.
So what did I learn? Don't try to change myself. Don't try to fix a problem within me or my actions, fix my relationship with the Lord, let Him handle the sin in my life, He is more than capable of that, and I am less than able to do it on my own. Exert all of my energy, time and effort into my relationship with Him, and He will take care of the rest. Stop picking up heavy yokes that are not my own, for His yoke is light. As in Romans 8:28 God can use all things for His good, even when I try to institute a law on my own, He can use that to break my heart for Him, show me my need for Him, and bring me back to Himself.
I still desire to be free from any sort of complaining, exaggerating, boasting, deceit, defending myself, gossip, or any other treacheries of the tongue, however I am done tackling those on my own. I am seeking the Lord, and His power that is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Thank you Lord for your wisdom, guidance, power and love. Thank you for freedom in you from the law, for your death on the cross which paid for my sins, thank you for making me new in you. Lord help me to understand that my life and provisions are not my own, but all gifts, that you have entrusted to me, to be used for your glory. Lord, show me opportunities to faithfully serve you with what you have entrusted to me.