There is one passage of Scripture that always bring deep conviction to my heart . . . Philippians 2:14-15 NASB:
Do all things without grumbling or disputing;so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world…
How does God call us to show that our lives are blameless to the world around us? Is it by our good deeds, such as helping out in a soup kitchen, or babysitting for the youth pastor or maybe even giving some of our money to a missionary coming through? Those are good things, but they are NOT the things God points to in this passage that reveals our faith. So what does?
Living a life without grumbling or disputing attitude proves our godly character to those around us.
A Grumbling Attitude
The Greek word for grumbling in this verse means mumbling or muttering; having a secret displeasure not openly spoken. We may look at our lives and think, “Well, I’m OK because I’m not a grumbler.” Let’s take a closer look.
- complain about homework or tests
- mutter under your breath when your parents give you extra chores to do
- roll your eyes when your siblings ask for a favor
- huff and puff when you are told to turn off a video game
- get bugged when your youth pastor asks you to befriend a new girl at youth group when you’d rather hang with your friends
- whine when you are not able to get the new shoes you wanted to match your dress
This, my young sister, is grumbling!
Our society builds self-gratification and encourages doing what you want to do when you want to do it. We feel put out if we are asked to sacrifice for someone else. We resent it when we are asked to set aside our own wants. This is at the core of the grumbling heart.
A Disputing/Complaining Attitude
The Greek word for disputing or complaining might be different from what we think. It isn’t even something you do out loud. It means to argue or debate in your own heart and mind. It means hesitating.
Have you ever:
- waited to help someone, hoping that someone else would jump in first
- held back in reaching out to that new awkward girl at youth group and wishing your friends would come and get you
- hesitated to obey your parents, thinking they might forget in their busyness
This is a spirit of complaining! You are arguing in your mind about doing what is right and righteous because you want your own way. You are hesitating to do what God calls you to do.
How can we change our attitudes to line up with God’s heart?
Trust in God!
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. Psalm 9:10 NASB
When we trust in God to work in our lives, it brings freedom in many ways. We are strengthened in His Word, in His character and are quick to listen to, and obey, His Spirit. Trust that God will not forsake you. He will provide for all of your needs and you can put all your energies into loving and surrendering to His will.
Believe in His goodness!
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 NASB
God desires to pour down His goodness on His children. The more we know Him, the more we trust Him, the more we see Him for who He is – GOOD! When we really believe that God has good for us, we are more willing to sacrifice because we truly know that we won’t miss out by obeying Him.
Relinquish our rights!
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB
Understanding that we belong to God, that we don’t have rights to do our own things and have our own way in our lives gives freedom and (believe it or not) JOY! We now have a purpose in our lives: to glorify God in all that we do. We get to be the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth. What an honor and blessing.
Look at your attitudes and let the Holy Spirit search you to see if your heart is filled with grumbling and complaining or with surrender and trust. One brings misery. The other brings joy.
Which will YOU choose?