This is a repost from 2009. It encouraged me to make some changes for 2011. I hope it does the same for you.
Is there conflict in The Santos Times? Do we have a curl in our lip or a furrow in our brow? Are we snappy or irritated? Critical or Rude?
If so, you can be sure that around every corner is the unwanted visitor Complain Complain. Yep, that's right. Her first and last name is the same. She loves to visit at mealtime. Oh what a ruckus she makes. The food is never good enough. She hates vegetables. And if by chance we are serving something yummy - something no one would complain about - well, then she complains that someone got more than she did. Complain Complain also likes to show up early in the morning. She hides in the closet or in the dresser drawers. What a sneak! She likes to point out the flaws of all our clothes - the colors, how old and out of style they are, how they make us look fat or frumpy or poor. It's hard to get rid of her once she is in the house. If somehow we can get her away from our clothes she goes into the bathroom. There she stands in the mirror with her arms crossed. Boy, she speaks with such authority: it's hard to remember that her father is the father of lies. She complains about our blemishes, our teeth, our hair, our weight. Complain Complain always brings conflict when she visits.
If it's not Complain Complain visiting, then it is her best friend, Dispute-n-Argue. What a nasty character he is! He loves to provoke and upset anything and everyone. Did you know that he is fluent in many languages? Even so, he usually only uses two words: 'Why?' or 'But'. Oh and how LAZY he is. You never did see anyone as lazy as Dispute-n-Argue. He always has a reason for being unproductive -- It's too hard. It's too expensive. It makes him (or us) tired or sick or dizzy. He is also quite a sneak. It's just when the Santos Times seem happy that Dispute-n-Argue will jump in to make us feel how wrong or foolish we are. Like I said, Dispute-n-Argue loves to provoke.
I don't know how these two get into our house. One of us lets them in and once they get in, it is nearly impossible to get them out. Fortunately, we have a very good friend, a faithful friend, that Complain Complain and Dispute-n-Argue hate. When this friend comes over they usually leave. If they don't leave willingly, he will throw them out for us. He is very strong and capable and so so handsome too. What a wonderful friend he is! His name is Thankful.
He is SUCH a good friend that, recently, we asked him to come and live with us. We have had to make a lot of adjustments to the home in order to make him comfortable - he is quite picky. But for all he does for us, we would gladly do anything to have him around. He makes us all smile, he keeps those bad visitors away, and we are even healthier because of him. We thank God every day for our good and faithful friend Thankful.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings (complaining and arguing): that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Philippians 2:14 -15