Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do EVERYTHING Without Complaining and Arguing

Do EVERTHING Without Complaining

Paul gives us some wonderful advice in Philippians 2:14-15, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation.”

How much do you complain? Most people would say they complain very little but have you stopped to take a count of how much you complain and how much you rejoice? Granted, we all complain about something once in a while but a habitual complainer is someone who needs to remember Paul’s words. Adhering to Paul's words will keep you blameless and pure, looking like God’s child. When we complain, we don’t look like Christ but like the crooked and depraved generation around us.

A complainer is someone who always has something negative to say. They could be at the grocery store shopping and notice the cost of peas have gone up 20 cents. They say, “That’s ridiculous. Peas used to be half that price. I’m not buying peas or shopping here anymore!” Or, they could be driving down the road and someone is going ten miles under the speed limit. They say, “Why is this jerk going so slow? I’m in a hurry and he is so inconsiderate. People cannot drive anymore!” Sound ridiculous? Actually, sometimes people complain more than they think they do. When Paul said do everything without complaining and arguing, he meant EVERYTHING - shopping, driving, working, parenting, marriage and every aspect of life.

It sure is easier to focus on negative things instead of rejoicing about the good. I mean Paul was, in his words, being poured out like a drink offering (v. 17). In reality, he was imprisoned and about to be executed for his faith. Did he complain? Not even about the prison conditions, the “cruel and unusual punishment,” or the quality of the food in prison. He understood that his time was limited on earth and he had better get busy rejoicing about everything (Philippians 4:4).

Are you rejoicing or complaining more? There are many wonderful things the Lord has done to rejoice over. If you spend your time on them, you’ll never have time to complain. So how do we restrain the way we complain? How do we gain the voice that loves to rejoice?

Paul said to joyfully serve the Lord NO MATTER WHAT comes our way or doesn’t go our way. Did Jesus complain on the cross? We should “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame.” Paul does not say to do what you like without complaining and arguing. He says do everything. While that seems hard, God will give you the strength and the Holy Spirit will help to shape you to the image of Christ in your words, attitude, and actions. When you stop complaining and arguing, not only will you grow to be more like Christ, the people around you will have a better day as well. I pray the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart are pleasing to the Lord (Psalm 19:14).

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