“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.” (Philippians 2: 14-16, ESV).
I read the above verses a little while ago and was struck and challenged by the command in the first phrase of verse 14 – to do all things without grumbling and questioning. I find it so easy to look at the negatives in situations, to complain and grumble, and to get annoyed, thinking only of myself and how I might be impacted by something. It is so much easier to speak grumbling words than to speak positive and encouraging words. These verses challenge me to examine not just my words, but also the attitudes of my heart and my approach to life in general and to the specifics of each day. I’m challenged not only by the command in these verses, but also by the consequences – my words and attitudes and my daily choices not to grumble or question (other versions use the word ‘argue’) are linked to my status in God’s family, my cleanness before the Lord and my witness in the world – “blameless and innocent”, a child of God “without blemish” and a light in the world. I struggle and fail to live up to this command frequently, but by God’s grace and with His help I am trying to change.