Key Verse: Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life… –Phil 2:14-16a
Dig Deeper: Constant grumbling and complaining is not a pretty trait. All of us can look at the pouting girl in the photo (or our children who look the same way sometimes!), and admit that it’s an ugly character trait. Yet so many of us walk around the same way, and don’t see it. Complaining is based on a prideful and selfish feeling that we somehow “deserve” better in our lives, yet so often when we reach that “better” point, we find something else to complain about.
I tend to suffer from the ailment of grumbling. Of negativity. I want so desperately to be in control that when things don’t go my way, I complain about it. Paul says we shouldn’t do that. Paul tells us to do all things without complaining and disputing. The NIV uses the term “grumbling.” Paul goes on to give reasons that we shouldn’t grumble and complain. We should do all things without grumbling and complaining so that we will be “blameless and harmless” (the NIV says blameless and pure). Constant complaining and disputing is a sin, and I want to strive toward purity in my life.
Furthermore, Paul inspires us. Look around you, and what do you see in this world? Scores of discontent, complaining, people. People who are unfulfilled and unhappy. And so often, we Christians, who have every reason to celebrate, look just like those unhappy, discontent and unfulfilled people. God’s word calls us to look different. Paul says we should do all things without complaining and be pure and blameless “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights.”
So many people walk around discontent. Complaining and grumbling about everything in life that doesn’t go their way.
God calls us to shine as a light in the midst of such negativity. I’ve known only a few such positive influences. People who reflect the joy of the Lord in the midst of trials. Women who radiate God’s love and grace. Women who exude a positive outlook in all they do and are quick to serve others without complaining. They are a light in the midst of darkness.
Lord, I pray that you would soften my heart. Forgive me the selfishness and pride that leads me to complain and grumble about things. Help me to shine as a light in a world of darkness by living out the joy and blessings you have given me.