Philippians 2:14-15: Do all things without murmuring and disputing, that you may be blameless and harmless, sons of God, without fault, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world.
I read this scripture a couple of Sundays ago as I was waiting for for church to start. I’ve read it many times and have also seen verse fourteen used many times in various applications. It is a challenging verse! I’ve often said that I could spend the rest of my life working on just one truth or principal from God’s Word and this could be one of those principals. Do ALL THINGS without murmuring or disputing. Wow! You mean all things? Even those things that I don’t like? Even those things that aren’t fair? Really? Then to top it off, Paul goes on to say that if we do this, we will be blameless and harmless, sons of God without fault. He even finishes the verse off by saying that we would be like shining lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. In other words, if we do things without complaining and disputing we will be lights in dark and perverse places.
Paul uses words in the passage that are intriguing. The original text uses the word complain instead of murmur, but when you look the word up it is defined as murmuring. It’s definition is: murmuring; grudging. A secret debate. A secret displeasure not openly acknowledged or declared. In other words, Paul is saying don’t complain quietly or under your breath. This word to me means complaining silently to one’s self in a negative or derogatory manner or expression. Compliant, frustration and disgust being expressed under your breath for what you are having to do. The next word is disputing and it is similar because it refers to reasoning, but reasoning- within one’s self. In the definition it actually says: imagine a man having a debate with himself while questioning what is truth. So, these words don’t necessarily even include someone else. It just means you and I murmuring and arguing within our own being about the truth of whatever it is that we may be doing. But, Paul says, “DO ALL things without complaining or disputing!” I could spend the rest of my life working on this one principal of truth, how about you?
9 Ways To Show Love and Be A Shining Light in a Dark Place:
1. Listen without interrupting.
2. Speak without accusing.
3. Give without expecting.
4. Pray without ceasing.
5. Answer without arguing.
6. Share without griping.
7. Enjoy without complaining.
8. Forgive without punishing.
9. Disagree without disrespecting.
– Bishop Tony Miller