Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” (Philippians 2:14-16 – in the NIV version)
Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. (Philippians 2:14-16 - The Message)
Easy, right!? Well, not really….
It’s easier to get into the mode of complaining.
“I’m so busy.”
“Cleaning up puke again!? You’ve got to be kidding me!”
“Why can’t he just wake up and take care of this baby for an hour!”
” They are driving WAY to slow in the passing lane – idiots”
“That is more than 12 items in the express lane!”
and so on….
Whether we say it out loud or to ourselves in the middle of the night, grumbling does nothing but bring us and those around us down. If we call ourselves followers of Jesus – what does that show others? Am I pushing others further away from Jesus by the complaining words I say? Don’t get me wrong – God’s bigger than me. He changes hearts, but I don’t want to get in the way….I’d rather be used.
It makes me think of these verses….
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6: 43-39
It’s not necessarily about controlling our words and attitudes ourselves. It’s about our hearts, and we can’t change our hearts without God’s help and asking Jesus to forgive us. God’s the heart changer.
A few questions I’m asking myself after reading, reflecting and praying on these verses:
What fruit am I producing right now? Where is my strength coming from? What is my heart full of? Am I being a breath of fresh air to others or am I taking the oxygen out of the air with my words?
So how do you find the balance in processing outloud when you have been hurt but also keeping in check the verses above?