May 6, 2018
Philippians 2:14-15… Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…
The Amplified Bible reads, “Do all things without grumbling or questioning the providence of God.” That adds clarity and purpose to this verse.
Paul is not suggesting that we question nothing… just that we don’t question God. And he included ‘grumbling’ in his warning. Some translations use the word, ‘ murmuring.’ Sometimes in books we read that someone murmured or grumbled under their breath. That implies that they did not intend it to be heard by others. I have, at times, grumbled for others to hear. I think all I want is sympathy. But, the times when I intended no one to hear, guess what? God heard. How do you suppose my whining made him feel? He has already done so much more than I could ever thank Him for and he has me in the palm of His hand, now, to keep me safe. What have I to grumble about? Well, I grumble because somebody didn’t treat me the way I wanted. Or I grumble because an investment didn’t do what I hoped it would. Or, I grumble because I am not as well as I want to be. Or I grumble because God didn’t heal someone the way I asked Him to. I Just noticed a common thread in my grumblings… my expectations weren’t met. So what I am really doing, in light of this verse, is questioning God. “Why, God?” Paul goes on to say that if we master this, we can be blameless and innocent. That is a strong desire of mine. I would like to be both blameless and innocent. “Blameless” tells me I have kept myself above the reproach of others. “Innocent” tells me I have been pure before God. I have not grumbled “under my breath”. If I am innocent, I am above blame. That doesn’t mean I won’t receive blame; but, if I do, the blame is a lie. All of this is done in the midst of a wicked generation… amidst people who don’t think like I want to think. In that setting, I shine like a light… stick out like a sore thumb. Complaining is the way of the world. I want to live for God. Oh, my.