Friday, November 21, 2014

Leaving the Old Whine Behind

I used to be a world class whiner. I could have been the poster child for complaining. 

And I stayed stuck. 

Stuck in mediocrity.
Stuck in negativity.
Stuck in pessimism.

And I was a bible-toting, born-again, worship-leading, prayer-warrior Believer.

Believer is a tricky word... believer of what? Who?

Deep down, I loved God, but I didn't REALLY believe for myself everything that I believed for everyone else. Somehow, I didn't feel quite worthy of it all.

I was pouring new whine into my old whineskins.

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins (Mark 2:22)

You can't continue to live the old life in the new. You can't whine and complain and still say you believe.

Whining says this:

W hat about me?
H ow can I get my way?
I t's not my fault!
N obody listens to me.
E veryone else gets all the breaks.

People don't like to be around whiners. 

Eventually, I didn't want to be around me either! So, I decided to take the initiative to change. But how does a lifelong whiner change? There are no 12-Step recovery groups out there for whiners. Actually, I never checked. There very well could be, but my guess is that everyone got sick of hearing each other and quit.

The answer is gratitude and praise. 

Read the Psalms. Specifically Psalms 103-118. Almost every one of these psalms either starts or ends with "Praise the Lord," or "Give thanks to the Lord."

The psalmists are notorious whiners. 

Really. Most psalmists lament and whine about their enemies and their problems, but they always turn it around to thanking God, blessing God, proclaiming the greatness of God, and praising God. 

Try it. Instead of whining, try finding something to thank God for. Praise Him simply for who He is. Get your mind off yourself.

Praise involves this:

P ause
R eflect 
A sk
I nitiate
S peak
E stablish 

Pause. When you take a moment to think about what direction you really want to take, you'll be able to think more clearly. 

You have the ability to choose how you want to view the situation.

Reflect on the situation/circumstance and on the WHINE acronym. 
  • Is it about you...really? Or are you just being overly sensitive/self-absorbed? 
  • Do you need to take responsibility for any part of this?
  • Is "nobody" listening to you because they've heard it all before? Maybe they're tired of hearing it again.
  • Could it be time to let it go?
  • Most you really want your way or are you ready to do things God's way? That might mean giving up your agenda...actually, it most likely will mean that.
Ask yourself, others and God. You've already started asking when you reflect on the old WHINE. Ask yourself if what you're whining about is true, or are you falling into the trap of the enemy. Ask God to change your heart. Ask others for help, if needed. Instead of griping, ask.

Initiate change. Once you've determined what you need to do, put it into action. Not doing your part, not doing what you need to do to change will keep you stuck in passivity and pessimism. And staying stuck will keep you in your old whine.

Speak forth the truth. Read the Psalms, specifically Psalms 103-118. Speak praise into the air. Read Psalm 119 and speak forth the truth about how much God loves you. Speaking it out loud will not only break the assignments and lies that the enemy has against you, but hearing it yourself will cause you to believe it more than just reading it.

S also stands for Sing...Sing your way to praise

If the video does not display, you can open it here. Yet I Will Praise You (Vineyard)

Establish a new pattern of thinking based on these truths. Learn to recognize your whining. Learn to say no to it. Choose what you think about. Choose to think on those things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8). 

Have nothing to do with thoughts that are demeaning, demanding or devaluing. 

Put these things into practice and the God of peace will be with you (Phil 4:9). 

And if the God of peace is with you, than who can be against you? (Rom 8:31)

Before you know it, you'll have left your old whine behind. The new whine? Well, there is no new whine. It has fermented and become praise.

Blessings Along the Path of Praise,


  1. I love the WHINE acrostic. I want to remember that! I have a strong aversion to whining. I used to tell my children and students that my ears can't hear that tone of voice and encourage them to try again with a more pleasant tone. Now I hear them say the same thing to their children. I wonder how often the Lord wants me to try again with a different tone. :-) Thanks and blessings!

    1. Don't you love when your "words do not come back void"? You realize you made an impact when you hear your words being repeated. What joy! You and I would not have been friends in my earlier years. You would have found excuses not to be around me haha!

  2. I love the WHINE acrostic too! I am such an anti-whiner with my children and students, but sometimes fail to recognize this in my own thinking. I'm pretty good about not verbalizing my whines, but the thinking is just as detrimental. What a great reminder!

    1. Thanks, Emily. And thanks for stopping by. Being a reformed whiner is sort of like being a reformed smoker-we reformed ones seem to be more sensitive to it.

  3. This is a good word! Thanks for sharing it with Thought-Provoking Thursday! :)

  4. Fantastic post! I need this reminder at the moment, thank you.

    1. I'm glad I had a "word in due season" for you, Jayne. Whatever it is, I hope and pray that you can find the positive in it.

  5. I'm glad you now know how to turn things around! From negative nancy to positive pollie. Wonderful!

  6. Thanks Mary, this is a great post, one I think we all need to hear. Thanks for linking up at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings