February 10, 2020

“Do all things without grumbling"

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing;”
Philippians 2:14

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing”, God commands – not just some things, not just most things, not even just the vast majority of things, but “all^ things”.

Let’s consider the “grumbling” aspect of the command: “Do all things without grumbling”, God says – not just the pleasant things, not just the easy things, but “do all^ things without grumbling”! And that means that we are to :

  • Get out of bed “without grumbling”
  • Drive in congested city traffic “without grumbling”
  • Live under the grey skies of winter “without grumbling”
  • Go to work or school “without grumbling”
  • Stand in line “without grumbling”
  • Spend time in a waiting room “without grumbling”
  • Receive poor service from a business “without grumbling”
  • Deal with difficult co-workers “without grumbling”
  • Work for a difficult supervisor “without grumbling”
  • Follow what we believe are unnecessary rules “without grumbling”
  • Eat food that we think is not up to par “without grumbling”
  • File our tax returns “without grumbling”
  • Jump through organizational hoops “without grumbling”
  • Receive critique “without grumbling”
  • Have our ideas turned down “without grumbling”
  • Live without getting what we want (food, scheduling, intimacy etc.) “without grumbling”
  • Obey our parents “without grumbling”
  • Live with our brothers and sisters “without grumbling”
  • Meet the needs of our wives “without grumbling”
  • “be submissive to [our] own husbands” “without grumbling”
  • Live with the shortcomings of our spouses “without grumbling”
  • Live with the shortcomings of our children “without grumbling”
  • Live with the shortcomings of our church family “without grumbling”

I have failed on many of these fronts. Indeed, some of these things came to my mind for this list because they are areas in which I have failed; areas in which I have grumbled. And my aim in compiling such a list was that readers might find their own specific grumbling addressed in it. And perhaps you have. Or perhaps there are other things about which you grumble. But no matter what you or I grumble about, it is forbidden, is it not? Because the command is: “Do all^ things without grumbling”. And so we should repent of our grumbling, and go forward “without [it]”!

And may the powerful motivation that Paul attaches to the command move us to do so:
“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, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.” Philippians 2:14-16

^Italicized emphasis in scripture quotations has been added.

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