‘Reklamites and Angalites’. That’s how a pastor jokingly referred to people who often grumble, argue or complain.
Well, at times we don’t seem to be far from the above mythical tribe names. And so were the Israelites. Perhaps we could say that it doesn’t take much ‘training’ to be ‘experts’ at the art(s) of grumbling and arguing.
What does the Word of God have to say regarding these seemingly counter-productive habits?
14Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16holding 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 labor in vain.
The apostle Paul tells us to do EVERYTHING (read: nothing is exempted) without grumbling (complaining to self) and arguing (talking back to God or a person in authority over us; questioning or doubting).
How can we do this? By imitating Christ’s example of humility. By being obedient, first of all, to God, and to the authorities to whom we are subject:
4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
-Philippians 2:4-8 (ESV)
Our Lord had the power and the right to deal with his enemies in ways you could only fantasize about in RPG games (thunder bolts, fire from the sky, incinerating lasers, etc). Yet he refused, and even accepted God’s marching orders to suffer and die a humiliating death. We as his followers are urged to have that kind committed obedience and submission. No matter how right we think we are, we are not supposed to go against our earthly bosses – unless following their will entails disobeying God’s.
In logistics, the proper way of delivering goods is to deliver them On Time and In Full, or OTIF. Our obedience to God must also be OTIF, without delay, and without reservations.
If we do these, we shall shine like stars in the night sky (verse 15), standing out from among the crowd, being a pleasant sight of hope in a dark and seemingly hopeless scene. People shall trust us more. Our credibility will increase. Our message will be more believable and powerful. But most importantly, we will have God’s “thumbs up”.
How much time do we spend grumbling or arguing about every conceivable activity known to man?
How much time do we spend praying about those things instead?
Are we praying for God to solve our problems, or for him to change our character perspective?
May we learn from Christ’s obedience.