Read Philippians 2:1-18
Ever encounter a person whose name and situation you should know, but you can’t for the life of you seem to remember? Somewhere along the way, I heard how one person handled those situations. He would simply greet the familiar strangers warmly and then ask, “So, how is the old complaint?” At that point, his forgotten friends typically launched into a long dissertation about their frustrations. You see, that person realized that most people have some kind of complaint that they aren’t afraid to bring up and elaborate on!
Christians are not exempt from that tendency. Oh, we may spiritualize our grumbling by mentioning it as a “prayer request.” We may add the words “Bless their heart . . .” before speaking badly about someone. Perhaps we find more acceptable ways to “sanctify” our complaining.
But, just imagine what would happen if you didn’t follow the normal complaining pattern of the world! Think about what it would look like for you to resist that seemingly innate tendency to grumble! Paul tells us what the result will be. Not only will we become blameless children of God, but we will also “shine like stars in the universe!” In other words, we will stand out. Against the dark backdrop of a culture characterized by complaining, the person who chooses not to complain will be obvious to others.
Today’s challenge will go against all of your natural tendencies to experience justice and be appreciated. That’s OK, although it may be unnatural. God equips you with supernatural ability. You can become a person who does not argue or complain. With the fruit of the Spirit that includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, you will stand out in a world marked by complaining. Let those qualities be the trademarks of your life rather than an angry, justice-seeking, complaining, grumbling attitude. As you do so, your outreach to others will become more irresistible.