Stop Complaining and Arguing

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Like it or not, people watch us. When we confess loyalty to Jesus, people are watching. They can tell who we are by how we act. If we have chosen to follow Christ, people can also tell who He is by how we act. We are a reflection of our Father.

What does that mean? Look below at what Paul wrote to the Church at Philippi. Paul wants us to be pure reflections of God’s character. He wants us to live clean, innocent lives so that when others look at us, they have a clear, unclouded picture of who God is. In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them. Philippians 2:14-15

Interestingly, the behavior that Paul focuses on here is complaining and arguing. He could have chosen any number of other negative behaviors, but he chose complaining and arguing. Why do you think he did that? After all, complaining and arguing aren’t that bad.

But maybe that’s the point. We don’t see them as such destructive behaviors; in fact, if we were honest, we would admit that we indulge ourselves in them all the time. We whine about work. We grumble that our husband is lazy. We find fault with the cable TV people and the car never works right!

But when we complain, when we argue, we smudge the reflection of God’s character in us. We give Christ a bad name. Paul wants us to be blameless so that no one can reject Christ because they saw a poor picture of Him in our lives.

If that seems hard, that’s because it is. But it is hard only if we think it’s completely up to us to live clean, innocent lives. We need to remember that only when Christ lives in our hearts, when we have given Him full access to our hearts, can He live His life through us. When that happens, our lives are like lights that shine in a dark and perverse world.

 

 

Jim Vogelzang