It’s hard to read Exodus and not think carefully about all the complaining. We see the worst in ourselves as the Israelites murmur and grumble and continue to complain when things don’t go well for them. In fact, I’ve heard others teach on this murmuring, critical spirit that can take over your whole life. In can infect your home and work environment. When we murmur, we miss the miracles around us. We forget that God is working.

And we forget to add good to any situation we’re in.

I’ve learned that when I’m tempted to complain, the very next thought should be this: OK–I see a problem here, so how can I help solve it? What can I do to add good here? I’ve also learned that it’s easy to find what’s wrong. Anyone can do that. It’s harder to see what’s right, what’s working, and what’s hopeful. Most of my life has involved the hard training to find the good and “give thanks in all circumstances.”

Murmuring represents inaction. It’s speech and an attitude that pollutes us and others. But productive, helpful speech finds what needs to change and moves towards positive solutions. This works well in our leadership positions, in environments where we must give feedback, and in our social media presence.

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