Washington — Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) wanted people to stop complaining for a day and count their blessings.
What he got was just more complaints. …
What became instant fodder for the Web, talk radio, podcasts and even the old-fashioned nightly news started innocently enough.
Cleaver offered legislation in June to set aside the day before Thanksgiving as "Complaint-Free Wednesday." …
The bill encouraged "people to look forward, not backward," Cleaver said in a letter to House colleagues seeking support, a "meaningful and powerful reminder to prepare for a day of gratitude."
Cleaver sent a letter to his colleagues in Congress asking them to consider co-sponsoring his proposed resolution. It said, in part:
“From time to time, we all experience anxiety, frustration, stress, and regret. And often, we respond to these feelings with a criticism or a complaint. Regrettably, complaining keeps people stuck on current problems, inhibiting them from thinking constructively to find solutions. Research has also shown that complaining can be harmful to one’s emotional and physical health; relationships; and can limit professional career success. ...
“This timely and constructive (and revenue neutral) resolution would reaffirm the meaning of Thanksgiving by designating the Wednesday before as Complaint Free Wednesday. Surely Complaint Free Wednesday will be a meaningful and powerful reminder to prepare for a day of gratitude.”
Sadly, his proposal was met primarily (and ironically) with cynicism, criticism, and yes--complaint.
It's hard to offer praise when our mouths are full of grumblings and complaint. Christians would do well to take a page out of Representative Cleaver's congressional playbook and take a break from complaining in preparation for a day of thanksgiving. Consider it a cleansing of the spiritual pallet before receiving the bounty of the Thanksgiving feast.
"Do all things without grumbling or disputing" (Philippians 2:14, NASB).