“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…” Philippians 2:14-15
Whenever I read that passage in Philippians 2 I think to myself, “Thanks a lot Paul; I grumble about a lot of stuff.” It could be slow walkers, long lines in the cafeteria, smudged nail polish, unanswered text messages, wet socks, being woken up (by trains, lawn mowers, roommates, garbage trucks, friends, and even a fan fell on top of me the other day), or taking two final exams on a SATURDAY. Sadly, I could continue this list easily. Whatever it is, whether in my head or verbally, I can be quick to grumble about things that don’t go exactly my way.
The truth is that some people have bigger things to grumble about than others. Job loss, sickness, or death can change everything in a heartbeat. The friends in Romania that we will meet (22 days!) live much less fortunate lives than I do. Natural disasters can destroy cities, hundreds of school-girls abducted in Nigeria. Our hearts can ache for the injustices of this life. This world is full of sin, and Satan wants nothing more than for us to let it control us, and surrender in the battle we face every day. Sometimes we can forget that the victory has already been won.
Paul says that we are in the midst of a crooked generation…it’s no wonder that grumbling comes so easily. Here’s the kicker, and I know it’s Truth: Paul says, “DON”T.” Don’t complain. Don’t argue. He doesn’t say it’s okay to have a bad attitude as long as our outward actions are holy and pure. He doesn’t say to do things reluctantly. Paul has a full, inside out transformation in mind. He gives as a divine calling to be innocent and blameless, and to be a little different in this dark, selfish, crooked world.
This isn’t easy, because Christians fall under the human category last I checked, which means we have a dark, selfish, crooked sin problem just like everybody else. I will be the first to admit that I can be quick to fall into the whacked mindset that somehow this life is about me. It’s natural. But it’s completely untrue. This life is not about how I feel, if I reach my goals, if everything is fair, or if I get to sleep soundly through the night.
As a Christian, God is calling me to an “attitude transplant” of epic proportions, that begins in my heart, not my head. A noble mission, from a noble God. As a response to what God has done, I must accept this mission. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, I will fail sometimes. But He was never expecting me to do everything right, that’s why He sent His Son. As long as I am here in this crooked world, I need to continuously pray that God would humble me, remind me that I am here for His purposes, and help me see my life the way He does. By the grace of God, I can be a light that shines, all the way to Romania and back! Thanks so much for all of your support.
Special shout out to the Moms who shine their light every day! Especially this foxy lady. Have a blessed Mother’s Day!