Words of Life

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 

15 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, 

16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Phil. 2:14-16 (NKJV)

You have two choices in life: you can serve others or you can serve yourself. 

Once I became a mother, I realized that my choice was to serve others. No matter if I was sleep deprived or sore, I chose to serve my family. In all transparency, my service wasn't always complaint-free. I complained (in my mind mostly) about washing dishes. Yes, I read the whole spill online about "be thankful because it means you have a family to take care of and while others wish they did..." This rationale didn't work for me because while it makes sense intellectually, guilt is not a lasting agent of change. Even if I stop complaining for a minute, the complaints return with a vengeance the next time I have to do the dishes. 

Today's scriptures encourage us to do all things, dishes included, without complaining and disputing. 

The writer lays a foundation of humility with Christ as an example. I humble myself as Christ so graciously did. I see my precious family as more important than myself. I serve them the best way I can with a great attitude. 

Repenting from murmuring has to be the first step. True humility is preceded by repentance from sin. Why? Sin separates us from God. As I repent from murmuring about dishes, I am no longer separated from God. I am like Jesus, grateful and free. This freedom shows up in my thought life. There's room for gratitude in my thoughts. There's room to think about good things. Pause and calmly think of this, my friend. How would your thought life be if you were free from thoughts of ungratefulness and complaints?

Only after this type of freedom do we become blameless and harmless children of God in the midst of a world that does not know true freedom in the Spirit.

I appreciate verse 16. It tells us to hold fast to the word of life. The only way to walk in freedom is to hold fast to the words of life, which are the Bible. 

You and I will be tempted to murmur and complain again. I find that the more I hold fast to the words of the Bible, the more those words hold fast to my entire inner life. What goes in the heart comes out of my mouth. 

Can you imagine a life so filled with the words of life that everything we think and say matches what Jesus would think and say? 

Prayer: Lord, I repent from murmuring. I turn my back to complaining, especially when others can't hear me. You hear my every thought. You know me completely and you forgive freely. Help me to hold fast to the words of the Bible. Only then, I can be blameless and harmless in this crooked and perverse world. I give you thanks for forgiving me and guiding me. In Jesus' name, Amen.