I’m really good at grumbling. Honestly, in some ways I might excel at grumbling. I do pretty good at arguing, too- but not as good as complaining.
This is a problem because in Philippians 2:14-16, Paul writes to the believers at Philippi to
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.'”
My grumbling and complaining are now a problem! One way for us to “live lives worthy of the gospel” and to “work out our salvation” is to stop grumbling and complaining. Paul follows this command with the result that believers will become “blameless and pure, “children of God,’ without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” This refers to the Israelites and the wanderings through the wilderness. They grumbled almost immediately after escaping Egypt when they had nothing to eat or drink. They grumbled against their leaders- and ultimately they were grumbling about God. Moses, in Deuteronomy 32:5, calls the Israelites “corrupt and not his [God’s] children; to their shame they are warped and crooked generation.”
Grumbling, complaining, and arguing is ubiquitous in our culture. Even in our churches we complain about our leaders- whether local or global. This has a negative impact on our witness to the world. As believers, if we look like the world and complain about our church or leaders- how would anyone see a better way through our lives? How would anyone see Christ.
Paul tells us that if we “do everything without complaining” that we will “shine among them like stars in the sky.” When we choose humility; when we choose a better way that grumbling or complaining- our lives and our witness shines like stars as we hold fast to the word of life. Our actions testify to the light of Christ that is in us.
This week- resist the urge to complain about someone. Resist grumbling about the music selection at church or whatever it is your grumble about. Instead, allow your life and faith to shine like the stars in the sky- illuminating the dark with the light of Christ!
(as a child of the 80/90’s listening to Christian music, I think of this song when I think of the word shine!)