Stop Grumbling and Pray Instead
Aya Fubara Eneli, M.A., J.D.
Last night I had the opportunity to share with my teenage son a lesson I learned and have put to practice over and again with great success. Have you ever had to deal with a person who just rubbed you the wrong way and yet this was a person that you couldn’t just cut out of your life without serious consequences?
Perhaps you have dealt with the proverbial supervisor from hell, a teacher who can’t stand your guts and makes sure you know who is boss, a sibling whom you can’t stand, a parent with serious issues, but who nevertheless still had legal authority over you. How do you tend to cope under those circumstances?
Do you lose your cool and attempt to go head-to-head with them? Do you withdraw, sulk and even sink into a depression? Do you choose the passive aggressive route? Do you get so stressed out that you skip out and even get physically ill?
If this is an issue you are dealing with, listen up. Years ago, I was in a similar predicament. I was the new kid on the block and my co-workers all warned me about the volatile nature of our boss. Initially, I fell into the same behavior patterns of my co-workers. I bonded with them by complaining about the boss and scrutinizing his every move, but one day that all came to an end and I discovered I had the power to change my behavior and impact my circumstances.
I was getting dressed that morning and listening to Joyce Meyer preach as was my routine. That day, she made a simple and profound statement, “Whenever you find yourself wanting to criticize your boss, what if you just pray for them and bless them instead.”
What in the world? It had never occurred to me to build up my boss instead of tear him down. I figured I had nothing to lose and so on my way to work, rather than dreading interacting with him and getting myself all riled up for our morning “rip him up” session, I prayed for his well-being.
You wouldn’t believe the changes that began to occur in me and him. Instead of bad-mouthing him, every time a colleague maligned him, I would speak up in his defense and encourage us all to set a more positive tone for our workplace. Not soon after, people started to notice a change in his behavior. They also began to ask me to approach him on all the “stick” issues in the office because they said he always listened to me.
In the meantime, I kept praying for him, his health, his family, his success. As Christmas time drew near, the staff complained about how he had no Holiday spirit. Morale was down and we were all under intense pressure to produce. Everyone said he had always refused to all an office Holiday party. I prayed and went and asked him not only to allow a party, but to pay for it and attend himself. He said yes on all counts. It was a turning point for the entire office. Morale shot up. People began to give him the benefit of the doubt. Tensions eased.
What is the lesson here?
Next time you are inclined to complain about, grumble, malign or tear down someone, consider praying blessings over their lives instead. I guarantee that you will see more success and turnarounds in your life just by making this one change. Stop grumbling and pray instead.
Aya Fubara Eneli is a best-selling author, Christian Life Coach, Motivational Speaker and Attorney. Her life’s purpose is to empower and equip people to live up to their highest potential. She and her husband live in Central Texas with their five miraculous children. For more information, visit www.ayaeneli.com, follow her on twitter @ayaeneli or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.