Happiness Habit: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
By Rick Warren
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that no one can criticize you.” (Philippians 2:14-15 NLT)
Do you ever fret and fight over the small stuff? Of course. We all do! It’s a hard habit to break because we’re negative by nature. Ever since Adam and Eve, we have been going around excusing and accusing. We excuse our own mistakes and then accuse others for their mistakes — and more. We hide, and we hurl. We blame others for the problems in our lives.
Philippians 2:14-15 says this: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that no one can criticize you” (NLT). That may be one of the most difficult verses in the Bible. Would you agree?
There are four types of complainers I run into all the time.
First are the whiners. You can get up in the morning and say, “Good morning, Lord!” but whiners choose instead to say, “Good Lord, it’s morning!”
Second are the martyrs. Their favorite expression is, “Nobody appreciates me!” They’re pros at throwing pity parties. They pout and complain when they don’t get their way.
Third are the cynics. Their attitude is, “Why bother? It isn’t going to make any difference.” They poison everything.
Fourth are the perfectionists. Nothing is ever good enough for these complainers. Their favorite phrase is, “Is that the best you can do?”
To me, the scariest verse in the Bible is Matthew 12:36: “Everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken” (NIV).
That ought to send shivers up your spine. How many times have you complained, whined, or argued about something when you shouldn’t have been sweating the small stuff? Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Instead, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Talk It Over
- What do you consistently complain about in your life? Would you consider these things “small stuff”? Why or why not?
- How do “empty words” (Matthew 12:36) reflect a focus on the small stuff in life?
- How do you think complaining makes something that is difficult seem even worse?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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