“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe, as you hold on to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16a NIV
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4,5 NIV
“I can do everything through Him, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NIV
My favorite book of the Bible, with so much of it underlined in mine. Like my last post on Romans 8, it was so very hard to choose the best verse(s) to focus on. Imitating Christ, Shining as Stars, Pressing on Toward the Goal are 3 of the titled sections in this book. So very convicting, as I compare my normal human nature to that of the sinless nature of Jesus.
It’s so easy to complain. I, who have so many blessings, can so easily fall prey to a bitter and complaining spirit. 1) “The line at the store was so long and the cashier was so slow.” 2) “The kids take up so much of my energy.” 3) “I’m the only one around here who cleans up this place.” 4) “My kitchen isn’t big enough.” 5) “There is so much laundry to do.” etc, etc, etc….
For each of these complaints, there is actually a blessing on the flipside. 1)We have money to be able to go to the grocery store and buy plenty of food for our family. 2)We are so blessed with 5 healthy, well-behaved children. 3)We have a house to live in. 4)We have a kitchen with running water, an electric stove, dishwasher and refrigerator. 5)We have a washing machine and dryer and our clothing drawers are full.
The normal US household compared with the majority of people in this world is more than blessed with convenience, money, and health and in all actually excess of everything! Really, what do I have to complain about?
When was the last time I portrayed a consistent example of “shining like a star” or “rejoicing in the Lord always” or “letting my gentleness be evident” to my husband and children?
Why then is this book of Philippians my favorite, if it shows me all my faults? Because it also gives hope! Philippians 4:7 says that if we are in communion with God, that His peace “which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Chapter 4, verse 13 says that our strength comes through Him, which enables us to do all things. Also in chapter 4, verse 13 we read that “God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
So my application is to train my mind, with the help of Christ of course, to focus on the positive in my daily situations and not the negative, which just breeds more and more negativity.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things… And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8,9b
I have so much to be thankful about. So many blessings to count, but yet so often I focus on what I think I have the right to complain about. Please forgive my ungratitude. You are so good to me! Please, by Your strength alone, give me a grateful and uncomplaining spirit and help me to look on the blessing flip-side, when I feel tempted to complain. Thank you for the amazing and wonderful example that we have in Your Son, Jesus Christ.
In His glorious name,