"Do Everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)
What if I told you there was one way to stand out and be uncommon, would you lean in and listen? The faithful Jesus Follower, Paul, shares with us "One" of those things - "Do everything without complaining and arguing..."
I know you may be thinking, That's it? Don't complain or argue? That will change things? That will cause me to shine and allow people to see Jesus in me?
The answer is YES! And when you think about it, it just makes sense. At the root of all of our complaints is selfishness. I didn't get my way. That situation makes me upset. Now I'm uncomfortable. Why did they choose that and forget about my issue? The list is endless, but the cause is the same - SELF.
Arguing is no different. Arguing is merely verbalizing a complaint to an individual or group of individuals we believe are the cause. So we are back to SELF.
James says it this way, "What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have... You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them... — you want only what will give you pleasure." (James 4:1, 2, & 3)
So this one is simple in theory, but hard to execute, because complaining and arguing come so easily. It is natural to complain and focus on our own comfort, pleasures, and desires. That is the point, it's natural, and living a life without complaining and without seeking after our own desires and pleasures is supernatural (uncommon).
That's why we need Jesus to overcome our fallen natures that so easily lean to complaining and arguing. We need His help to keep us focused on the good He has provided and the reality that He is Lord over all of our circumstances. We need to pray.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I have allowed myself to hide your light in a crooked and dark world by being just like everyone else. I have let complaining and arguing hurt my witness for you and my own heart. Please forgive me and replace my critical and selfish attitude with an attitude of thankfulness and praise. In Jesus Name. Amen!