Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Philippians 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing
A conscientious wife tried hard to please her super-critical husband, but he could not be pleased. He was the most cantankerous in the morning at breakfast. If she fixed him scrambled eggs, he wanted poached. If she poached the eggs, he complained that they weren’t scrambled. One morning she scrambled one egg and poached another and placed them in front of him. Anxiously she awaited the long overdue approval she sought. Looking down at the plate, he snorted and said, “Can’t you do anything right, woman? You’ve scrambled the wrong egg!”
What is it that makes us believe that complaining solves our problems? Why do we think that the expression of displeasure produces pleasure? What has happened to our heart so that from it come words of criticism, fault-finding, and judgment? What are we really hoping to accomplish when we complain? Do we really believe it is possible to experience joy when we are finding fault with everyone and everything around us?
Paul makes an important point in today’s Scripture passage – to be found without fault by God we must not find fault with each other. In our short-sighted and self-centered nature, we are deceived into believing that complaining and fault-finding will bring self-fulfillment. We attempt to make ourselves look better and feel better by proclaiming the failures of others. We try to build ourselves up by breaking others down. Satan has convinced us that our value comes from comparing ourselves favorably to other people, and the best way to do that is to emphasize their flaws. And if we can’t find people to criticize, then we complain about the weather or the food or the customer service or the government, hoping that someone will applaud us for our position so we can feel good about ourselves.
Complaining, arguing, and fault-finding are symptoms of a deep spiritual misunderstanding of who we are in Christ Jesus. How can we say that we are fully qualified by God to be partakers of the inheritance of heaven, when we consistently seek to be qualified by the people of the world so we can inherit what it offers?
In the context of Paul charging us to do all things without complaining, he also says this will be the identifying mark of our relationship with Christ. “…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” (Philippians 2:15).
The Life of Christ in us should be visible by the way we behave positively in a negative world. The world is crooked and depraved, and unfortunately, at times, it is difficult to distinguish Christians from people living in under the world’s influence. Paul says there should be visible distinctions between children of the world and children of God. Paul says one of the most important distinctions should be that Christians don’t complain and argue. This distinction is the beginning point of becoming blameless and pure so that we are found to be without fault in the world.
My friends, we must let the Holy Spirit do some heart surgery today, and repent of our critical spirits. We must resolve our differences with others and stop behaving like people of the world who attempt to climb the ladder of personal value by climbing over others. Remember the words of Jesus? “Whoever wants to be great among you must be the servant of all.” Jesus said this to his disciples while they were arguing about which of them was going to be the best.
Children of the world think selfishly. Children of God don’t! Children of God are complete in Christ, and when you’re complete you don’t compete.