By Deborah South
I love skits! I like watching them. I like participating in them. I like writing them! I am not necessarily good at it, but I do enjoy trying. Over the years, I have had the fun of helping in Vacation Bible School and Youth Camp writing skits and participating in them.
One skit at Vacation Bible School that I particularly enjoyed (and my husband hated) was the “Wendy and Wanda Whiner” skit! If anyone has seen this, you know how annoying it can be! My friend and I would come down the aisle whining loudly about literally EVERYTHING! “The room was too hot. There are too many people. The singing was too loud. The preacher always preached too long. Someone took my seat!” You get the picture. By the time the skit was over, the whole crowd was tired of us and our WHINING! The VBS leader would then explain that the reason we were whining so much is because we had forgotten to be thankful. He would quote verses on thankfulness to try to help us to be grateful.
How many times are we like Wendy and Wanda Whiner? How many times do people want to avoid us because of our whining attitude? Often we forget how good God has been to us and how blessed we are. Did you eat today? Did you have clothes to wear? Were you able to use your legs to get out of bed and your arms to tie your shoes? Were you able to wash your hands and take a shower or bath? Did your washing machine and dryer work today? What about your dishwasher? Did you drive your car or bicycle to where you needed to go? I could go on and on, but I think you understand what I am writing about.
We can become so ungrateful that we can become discouraged and depressed at life because things are not turning out the way we think they should. Circumstances have not gone our way. If you make the mistake of dwelling on this life, yourself, and your circumstances, you can become a miserable, whining wreck! YOU will not want to be around YOU and neither will anyone else!
It is easy to get discouraged when we get our eyes off of the Lord.
Depression can sneak in, and the devil can tell us how badly life has gone for us. If we are not careful, we will begin to listen to our old, deceitful flesh. And truly, we will not be the first to have this battle. John the Baptist, David, and Elijah also encountered depression. But the Lord can help us even at our lowest points!
Here are a few thoughts that will hopefully help you become a Winner not a Whiner!
Count your blessings! The song writer said, “Count your blessings, name them one by one…” I heard a preacher once say, “Count your blessings, name them TON BY TON!” If we have nothing else in this life except salvation by the grace of God, we can truly say we are blessed! Do not forget to thank God for all He has done for you and the people He has put in your life. Encourage yourself in the Lord.
Think of someone else! Do not just think of yourself, especially when you begin to get discouraged or depressed. When I was young, I never remember my mother being one for many words. When she was asked for advice, she always had a great amount of wisdom in her answer. I attribute her wisdom to the time she spent with the Lord. I remember ladies asking my mom what they could do to help them with their discouragement. They had situations that truly could have caused a great amount of depression. My mom would say, “Go find someone who is hurting or in need and help them! Stop thinking about yourself for a moment. You cannot focus on yourself and your hurts when you are focusing on someone else and their hurts.” Such true words. I would watch the ladies who took her advice come back with smiles on their faces because they had been able to put a smile on someone else’s face. When discouraged, look for someone else that is in need of a meal, a phone call, a cup of coffee, a kind note, an understanding conversation, whatever is needed, and be that one that makes the difference!
Sing! Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” There are so many good songs that can lift you up and help you to change your way of thinking when you are “speaking to yourself!”
Celebrate good days! Sometimes we feel that we are too discouraged to ever get back up. Everyone has bad days. Some have bad weeks; some have bad years. However, with the help of the Lord, you can have those blessed days, You should celebrate them! Call others to rejoice with you. If they are true friends, they will be thankful for what God is doing in your life.
Do not neglect your Bible and your prayer time! You will need the power of the Lord to help you meet the stress and strain of daily life that comes. No matter what, make time for the Lord. I have a friend that wrote a song recently about how this “one thing is needful” to spend time with the Lord. Life will get in the way if you do not have a plan to spend time with the Lord. I understand there are days it can be hard. I recently kept my two grandsons for two days while my daughter and son-in-law were out of town. When they returned, I gratefully gave her the two boys (whom I love dearly) and laughingly said, “I will never fuss at you for not reading your Bible until midnight, or if you do not clean your house for days, or even if you do not have time to shower! I am worn out!” Yes, life happens! Sometimes you will not be able to do all you want to do, but do not neglect the Bible (even if it is just a few verses!)
This is by no means an exhaustive study on winning over discouragement, but these are a few simple things that can help you be a WINNER and not a WHINER!