Evicting complaint with a purple bracelet

By Dave Henning / April 8, 2012

One of my favorite Jeff Manion (The Land Between) quotes is on the subject of complaint, as opposed to honestly crying out to God: “The heart drifts toward complaint as if by gravitational pull- after all, complaint seems a reasonable response to a sequence of disappointing events. . . . Before we know it, complaint feels right because it is so familiar.”

Ann Spangler (The Peace God Promises) describes one ministry’s solution to this problem.  Will Bowen, pastor of a congregation in Kansas City, Missouri, challenged his members to wear purple bracelets in an effort to eliminate complaint from their lives. When you complain, you switch the bracelet to the other wrist.  The goal is to go 21 days without complaining.  His organization, A Complaint Free World, has distributed over 6 million of these bracelets worldwide.

I think the bracelet has the potential to be effective, especially if one is bothered by this tendency and thus has motivation to change.  At the least, it can be a visual reminder, or ritual, that can keep you focused on more thankful behavior.  What do you think?

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Dave Henning


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