Do everything without complaining and arguing,
This verse bugs me because honestly, sometimes it feels so good to complain.
The other day my husband and I went to the movies.
We got popcorn, but the theater has quit carrying the cool box we used to get so we could each HOLD our own popcorn.
So now you know two bad things about me, oh, make that three.
A review of Kelly’s bad traits:
1. She likes to complain from time to time
2. She doesn’t like to share the popcorn, but prefers to stake claim to her portion and hoard it.
3. She eats the awful movie popcorn. With butter.
Let’s change the subject!!!
At church we’re in the book of Philippians.
Philippians is one of the Cheesecake Books.
That’s what I call them anyway. They’re lavish, sweet, and high in spiritual calories. You can only consume them in small portions. Otherwise it’s just too rich.
Joy shines like the bright summer sun when you open up Philippians.
And there among the bouncing yellow rays of joy and all the rich goodness of God’s grace is this little exhortation.
Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed!
Do you mean, when I get a call during a quiet morning and someone wants me to take them in to drop off their car for service, I’m suppose to just cheerfully give up my free time?
I think I need to read this verse in another version for clarification, and a possible means of escape and self-justification.
Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves],
This is going from bad to worse for me.
No grumbling? Not even just under my breath? No rolling my eyes and tisk-tisking?
None of that pleases God.
The complaining, grumbling, faultfinding, and lack of faith—not cool for God’s children.
And here’s why.
In that way, you can prove yourselves to be without blame. You are God’s children and no one can talk against you, even in a sin-loving and sin-sick world. You are to shine as lights among the sinful people of this world. Take a strong hold on the Word of Life. Then when Christ comes again, I will be happy that I did not work with you for nothing. Philippians 2:15-16
We live in a dark sin-soaked world. And we have a job to do, we’re light carriers. Not our light, His light.
Do you remember the story of Moses and water from the rock?
The children of Israel are complaining that there’s no water. Moses and Aaron go to God and God says take your rod and gather all the people. Then speak to the rock and it will give them water.
Simple right? A miracle in the desert. This wouldn’t be the first time they’d seen something miraculous.
But look what happens.
Pay attention to how Moses talks to the people and how he meets their need.
Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy.
When we complain and murmur, we’re doing what Moses did.
God wants to meet needs.
To show His love and touch lives with His grace.
And He wants to do it through us.
But if we make others feel like they’re an imposition, if we refuse to be channels for God’s love then we’ve failed as carriers of light in this dark world.
Moses and Aaron lost a great blessing because they misrepresented God.
Let’s not make the same mistake.
That’s why the story is included in the Bible.
So you and I can get it right.