Paul the Apostle in Philippians 2:14 challenges us to “do everything without grumbling or arguing.” Those of us who have developed these patterns of behavior discover that it is not easy to overcome. In the process of overcoming, there is the realization that we are very much like an old pressure cooker. The everyday pressures of life continue to build up within us until we blow up. Grumbling and arguing are deep laden heart issues and difficult to clean up. They become powerful neural pathways in our unconscious mind. To overcome is a process of INTENTIONALITY. You CHOOSE DAILY to surrender these habits to God allowing the Holy Spirit to work in you and His “dynamite” word to do the demolition needed to blow these toxic neural pathways up in your mind. God has changed many others’ lives and He will do the same for you. He is all about building something new.
Often, these folks wait until the harshness of their behavior destroys or their constant griping erodes or corrodes a very important relationships such as a spouse, a child, a family member, a dear friend, an important business relationship, before they change. Don’t do that! You can change.
Philippians 2:15 is absolutely riveting to discover what happens when you change, “You may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’” Paul explains a person who does not grumble or argue is a person who has a heart that has become “blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault.’” As you look at scripture it becomes evident why getting rid of grumbling and arguing is so important. Our God is a relational, personal God. In both the Old Testament and New Testament there is a commandment at the center of God’s heart. In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus stated His desire clearly, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” The same words are stated in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 in the Old Testament. God speaks straightforwardly that He wants us to love Him foremost of all and for us to treat and care for others as we would ourselves. When you fulfill God’s desire of loving Him and loving others, you become “blameless and pure.” You are being and doing what God wants you to be and do.
Finally, Philippians 2:15b&16 describe those who have overcome grumbling and arguing, “Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” You become a “light” to others “as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
Time to shine!