The other day Oprah featured this ingenious no-complaint bracelet viral idea begun by Pastor Will Bowen of Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, Missouri.
The hope is to get people to catch themselves complaining and switch modes into something more grateful. I'm all for it!
In fact, I just hit their site at A Complaint-Free World and ordered seven of them.
The no-complaining bracelets are free, but I gave a $6 donation, which I hope will cover the postage. I plan to give more. I just love sites that use PayPal so I don't even have to grab my wallet...
I'd love to have 700 no-complaining bracelets so I could give them away to nearly everyone I know -- since many people seem to think that complaining is some sort of right of passage, bonding ritual, or just the thing to do.
If only they knew how much they were blocking their blessings...
The Bible has so much to say about how vitally important our words are. It's not just talk -- when others complain about the rainy weather, their fat thighs or stupid husband they are literally causing bad things to come to themselves.
It's a fun challenge daily for me to counteract the negative stuff people say.
"Our kids only have a few minutes to eat their lunch," one mom at school said.
"They'll live," I shot back.
"Why are our kids always the last to come out?" another offers.
"Thank God the sun is shining!" I'll smile.
And on and on it goes...
I mean really -- we're blessed women with food on our tables, healthy kids and roofs over our heads. Don't they realize there are mothers in Bangladesh somewhere with a whole lot more to complain about?
But I'm not complaining, I'm praying...
I know my sunny-ness annoys some folks, but I really only want the best for them. Joyce Meyer speaks of the dark presence she felt coming towards her in her house when she unleashed a litany of complaints one day after her husband Dave left the house.
She quickly changed her tune and started thanking the Lord for everything He has provided. The evilness abated -- Joyce actually felt it leaving her.
No wonder Kenneth Che-Tew Eng experiences so much racism in his daily life. I can only imagine the stuff that comes out of his mouth!
I won't complain
Of course, I know there are people who have a lot of problems and have experienced unheard-of tragedy in their lives.
I can't help but want to give them an out and room to spit in the face of God (at least that means they still believe in Him) and complain and rant. Especially people who've lost loved ones to tragic circumstances and the like.
But even the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People saw fit to bring goodness out of bad. I have more compassion for these folks, and fervently hope that God shows them how He indeed causes "all things to work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose."
The complaint-free bracelet rules...
So, here are the rules once you get your purple no-complaining bracelet on your wrist:
- "If you catch yourself complaining, you take [the bracelet] and you move it to the other wrist," Will says. "The idea is to ultimately keep it [on the same wrist] for 21 days." Will chose this length of time, he says, because scientists believe it takes that long to form a new habit.
- No gossiping, either! (Yikes -- I pray I can overcome this part.)
- If you see someone wearing the no-complaint bracelet and they start complaining and you point that fact out to them, you've gotta switch your own no-complaint bracelet to your other wrist and start the 21 days over -- because you've just complained about their complaining!
- Pay attention to how you're speaking. If you blithely say, "Oh, my leg hurts," that might just be a statement of fact. But if you're droning on about the pain in your calf, that's probably a complaint.
- If you want to know the difference between a comment and a complaint, Pastor Will says to pay attention to your feelings about the issue.
I'm so happy that these no-complaint bracelets have gotten so popular.
Pastor Will says that 1.3 million people in 80 countries have already requested the purple no-complaint bracelets.
"This is our gift to the world," he says. "We're not out to raise money. We want to raise consciousness."
And count Oprah's makeup artist Reggie as #1,300,001.
Op sure enough called the funny Reggie on down during a televised break in the show and plopped one on his wrist.
I'm eager to get mine in the mail, but I'm being patient. The wait time was around five weeks for the tiny church to get them in the mail -- probably more so since the Oprah appearance.
I plan to sport a pretty purple no-complaint bracelet on my wrist this summer, no doubt as trendy and important as the LiveStrong yellow bracelets that Lance Armstrong made popular.
And God-willing just as beneficial...
Let me know when you get your no-complaint bracelet on your wrist, and we'll compare notes on how we're all doing. No complaints.