I got these from BSF. These steps were put into practice by a missionary's wife in Africa. She and the other wives were struggling with complaining and contentment, so they committed to practicing these simple ideas.
1. No complaints-even about the weather. (Oh this will be tough come August.)
2. No fantasies. The idea here is that God has you where you are (or who you're with) for a reason. To wish otherwise is a rejection of his provision.
3. No comparisons.
4. No "if only" statements or thoughts.
5. No "what if"'s about the future. This is worry.
I find these to be so profound; seemingly simple and direct, but I know they will change forever one's outlook.
I tend to struggle with contentment and envy. I am so grateful for a practical way to combat those horrendous thoughts that tend to go through my mind.
We learned yesterday about Miriam and her jealousy towards Moses. (Numbers 12) She spoke against Moses to her other brother Aaron about marrying a non-Jew (which was not forbidden in this case) and also questioned why Moses was so special. Her complaints prompted the Lord to summon Miriam and Aaron and defend Moses, who was not just any prophet but spoke with the Lord "face to face".
The Lord defended Moses, not only because of his closeness with the Lord, but because He had put Moses in charge. We should conclude that God takes very seriously when we complain about the leadership, federal, pastoral, etc.
(Good thing I don't struggle with that! Okay, just kidding...)
But in any case, Miriam was struck with leprosy and would have had to have been cut off from the Israelites forever if Moses had not interceded for her.
The other thing we can conclude is that jealousy is repulsive to the Lord. So disgusting and contagious that it must be confined outside of the community. This is the mental picture I hope to always have when a jealous thought comes into my mind.