Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that 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, 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 labor in vain.” – Philippians 2:14–16
God has made us to shine as lights in the world, illuminating the darkness as representations of Christ and of His saving grace. Everything around us is broken. As believers in Christ, we have been plugged into the Author of Life and into the Source of Peace. We have good news to share, but if our mindset is no different from the people around us, grumbling and complaining like the rest of the world, then people cannot see the reality of the gospel in our lives. It is like an overcast sky that prevents the people from seeing the sun in the day, or the stars in the night. Grumbling and disputing clouds up our lives and dulls our witness.
Let the world complain about traffic and the weather, because if this life is all they have to live for, and if sunny days are all they have to hope for, then rainy days are terrible. If this life is all they have, and health is the hope, then sickness is unbearable. If this life is all that they have, and money is the key that unlocks the door to happiness, then when they lose a business venture or get ruined financially, they lose everything. Let the world complain. But we know Christ and our treasure is in another world. It is a treasure that is imperishable. It does not fade away. Our spiritual health will never fade there, neither will our joy diminish or our love grow cold. Not only do we have this hope for the future, but God’s presence is a reality for us now, as His Spirit indwells us, enabling us overcome this world so that we can rise above the darkness around us and shine as testimonies of His grace.
The reason that complaining should be far from our lips is because our hearts should be so overwhelmed by the grace of God in Christ that no matter what we face, complaining finds no place in our hearts because we are secure in the goodness and love of God for us in Christ. Never lose your focus on Christ and the Gospel of His grace. If you are in Christ, your hope is secure. God’s goodness to you is sure. You have far more reasons to rejoice than you do to grumble. So, keep your eyes in the right place. And if you do, your witness will be much more compelling, the church will be stronger, because God’s saving work will be much more evident in us.