Do Everything Without Complaining

w31-d9-instagramLet us Do everything without complaining is a tall order given by Paul to the church, to me. Let us dive right into to day 9 of Losing My Religion, Finding My Savior.  Again, I was challenged by the series Regarding Joy.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Philippians 2: 14-16

Do everything without complaining

When I was on a missions trip to Jamaica, in 1998 there was a very effective rule to combat complaining.  “Every time you complain, you have to pay $1.” I have tried to use that to keep myself from complaining throughout the years.  Yet, even yesterday I complained to the postman “people complain about everything.”

It is annoying to listen others complain.  More importantly, it is destructive to complain.  I could probably pull up some holistic health research to show how it actually damages your body, but I won’t.  Paul instructs the believers to do all things without complaint, because complaining is destructive to Christ’s body.  If doing all things without complaint or argument makes us blameless, innocent and without blemish, that clearly indicates that the opposite is also true.  Complaining and arguing snuffs out the light in us.

Not a Secret

Have you watched the film, “The Secret” ?   I easily understand the science behind it.  I learned some of these principles in school for massage therapy, and witness the effects of negativity on my client’s bodies.  As I study the use of essential oils, I can easily grasp the science behind “The Secret.”    I think we all understand the emotional aspects of it though, don’t we?  Honestly, who wants to hang out on Friday night with Debbie Downer?

However, what Paul gets at here is not motivated by our dreams for life, our desires for relationships, financial gain and health.  Have you ever been told that you were sick (or broke or lonely) because you needed to have a positive attitude?  It’s a bit like salt on a wound, isn’t it? Remember, Paul is writing from prison, he understands that this Christ-like attitude is not about our own gain.

Living without complaining or grumbling is a joyful response to the work of God in us.

Yet we still tend to complain

I remember thinking that the Israelites begging to return to Egypt at the Red Sea was CRAZINESS.  They just witnessed the plagues including the passover, yet here they were, seemingly moments later not trusting God to deliver them.

Still, I do the exact same thing. I know God spared my life, worked miracles on my behalf.  God has been faithful and true to his word.  Even as he provided finances from unexpected avenues, I complained.  “How will we every have money for a house?”  “Our emergency fund is so tiny!!”  “I can’t breastfeed!” Even though I have a healthy, strong baby.

When I complain I demonstrate that I am unconvinced of God’s great love for me, and his precious purpose  for me.  It shows I do not understand where God brought me from, or where he leads me.  Complaining lets the world know that I do not trust God.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  .  .  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. Romans 8:18, 28-30

Living without complaining reflects that we trust him

Not about me

It glorifies God when we live without complaint.

It is natural, albeit impolite, for me to to roll my eyes at someone being annoying.  Wishing someone would just get their act together, and reminding him or her of that is a natural response.  Feeling frustrated that someone is asking for money, not abnormal.  Complaining about my husband’s shortcomings, or my kids behavior is so very average.

Grace. Kindness. Mercy. Compassion. Love. Generosity. I demonstrate these things when I do not complain about my situation, or other people.

“that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”

Should my words justify my emotions, or should they reflect the nature of Christ?

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

I am his witness, as a part of his church – his bride.

Living without complaining  glorifies God.

only hope for the world

 

Interested in listening to the sermon? Click the image belowRegarding Joy

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