Phil 2:14 Do everything without complaining…
Russell mentioned this in his lesson Sunday and I have been thinking about it a lot. I realized I complain much more than I care to admit and I am going to try my best to quit complaining. It may not be as easy as I’m hoping. That very morning I recalled that I had mentioned to a brother “how cold it was” in the auditorium.
Are we not in a sense saying I deserve preferential treatment when we constantly complain? We complain that it’s “too hot, too cold, too windy, not enough time, too fat, too ugly, and too poor.” We complain when someone is driving too fast or too slow. Complaining reveals discontentment.
Have you ever heard (or said) any of these among your church family – I don’t like the color of the carpet, the old songs, the new songs, the pews are too hard, on and on and on…
Now look at what follows verse fourteen and be reminded of why we should not complain – Phil 2:15-17 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 out the word of life — in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.
Rather than complain, we are told to rejoice, to be content, to build each other up and encourage each other.
(I found 133 references for “rejoice” in the NIV)
Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Phil 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Rom 15:1-2 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
1 Thess 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
2 Cor 13:11 Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
Rom 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
My challenge to myself and to you is to listen to what comes out of our mouths for the rest of this week and make a mental note of every complaint and then resolve to change the complaint into something you can rejoice about.