Dear Church Family,

How are you doing with the battle over grumpiness? Given the insanely difficult year that we’ve all had, many of us are feeling high levels of weariness, tension, and the temptation toward a negative, critical spirit. Perhaps these are the signs that you are worn down and struggling. And given everything that is going on in our nation, I find that sarcastic, cynical, negative thoughts can sometimes pop up in my brain like the moles in a “whack-a-mole” game.

Yes, intentional critical analysis and constructive feedback can help to make things better. But random critical thoughts and reactions have no place to go but back into a grumpy heart, making it less happy and less holy.

May I suggest an antidote?

Every year I give myself to some amount of self-reflection and prayerful examination. Unlike a reactive, complaining heart, the fruits of honest and intentional spiritual examination are gratitude, humility and hope.

Here is a link to a wonderful resource full of excellent questions that you can use as prompts for reflection. Pick the questions which you feel might be helpful to you. You definitely don’t have to do them all..  Make sure that you go slowly so that you can hear the Spirit of God leading you as you go.

May you find great riches of joy as you make space for interacting with God in prayer and reflection.

In Jesus,