This verse really came off the page to me when I was reading about a missionary in Africa who made the commitment to not complain for a year – including not complaining about the weather. My immediate thought was, “What?!?!?! How can you live in that African heat and humidity and not complain? And really is it complaining or just whining?” Then, I was reminded of this verse and that the Greek definition of all is….all. Not some things or some times but in all things do it without complaining.
When I pulled back and looked at the context of this verse and saw the reason behind not complaining, I had another “aha” moment.
So that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky… (Philippians 4:15)
If I want to be different in this world, I don’t have to be perfect (impossible any ways) or kind (good not different than many others) or vocal (which is really just preaching) but rather I need to not complain. As I ponder this verse more, I started realizing how often I complain. Delay in going through TSA – “
Read the signs, people. No liquids in your bag!” Traffic back up – “Where did they learn to drive?” Service poor at the restaurant – “How hard is it to make a grilled chicken salad?” My complaining showed me my pride, my lack of patience, my lack of grace and mercy and mostly it showed me what a sinner I am!!
I am not like the African missionary and committing to never complaining for a year, but I sure hope that as I am made more aware of my complaining I will be quick to quit and extend grace, patience and kindness so that I can shine like a star! How about you? How is your complaining meter?