Complaining and Disputing
"Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world" (Phil. 2:14-15).
Here are a couple of suggestions as you go about your week...
Don't complain...come-pray. The best way to ruin a good job/car/computer/etc. is to complain about all of its imperfections. If you want to make every day the worst day of your life, describe everything that is wrong about anything to yourself or someone else. That should do the trick! Rather than complaining about what is wrong, let's remember to thank God for what's right! Also never forget that God DOES answer prayer! John said, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us" (1John 5:14). If there is something you need to pray about, PRAY ABOUT IT!! God would much rather listen to your problems through a prayer than to hear you grumble about them to Joe while you drink your morning coffee.
Don't dispute...dis-problem. Petty disagreements arise. They forever will and it is foolish to ignore them when they do. What is more foolish than ignoring them, however, is arguing or disputing about them until you lose focus of what the problem was in the first place! Paul said, "But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife" (2 Tim. 2:23). The best way to bring strife on a good relationship is to argue about every little detail that can be split in two. Prov. 15:1 says, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger". Let's solve our problems in a way that won't lead to excessive arguing and further disputes. Disagreements are one thing; "foolish and ignorant disputes" are another. Let's recognize the difference and make sure we don't cross the line.
Christians have everything to be thankful for. If you believe that, then show it to the world. The best way to turn the world away from God is to show it that Christians are the people who complain about every detail, argue about every issue, and get angry about every difficulty. Show the world that Jesus HAS made a great difference in your life and CAN make a great difference in theirs. Remember, "You are the light of the world...Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:14,16). Be that light!
By Matthew King
From Expository Files 14.10; October 2007