Complaining is something most of us do without thinking twice about it. When something doesn’t go our way or we’re frustrated. When someone does the exact opposite of what we asked them to do, words of complaint flow from our lips with ease. But did you know that there are actual benefits of NOT complaining? Let’s dig deeper in Philippians 2:14-15 to learn about some of those benefits.
Philippians 2:14-15 – Do all things without complaining and disputing, 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.
Benefits of Not Complaining
I’ve read verse 14 quite a few times before and all I got from it was not to complain. As someone who has a very bad habit of complaining, it has always been advice I’ve tried to adhere by. But I read it today and noticed something new. These verses are not just about us not complaining. We see that complaining and arguing leads to a result that diminishes our status as Children of God when we read verses 14 and 15 together.
Do all things without complaining and disputing,
Disputing in Hebrew means an internal or external debate that involves hesitation or doubting. This part of the scripture is pretty self-explanatory, don’t complain or argue. However, I wondered why complaining is such a big deal and did some more research. Research leads to the Israelites and how they were always complaining about
Research leads to the Israelites and how they were always complaining about things. They complained from when Moses came to get them from Egypt until they got to the promise land. They pretty much complained the whole way.
That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God
This is where things start getting interesting. So, not only shouldn’t we complain or argue about anything. This isn’t a law for the sake of it, a law without reward. There’s a reward on the other side of it, we see that if we abstain from complaining and arguing, we are counted as blameless, harmless children of God.
Blameless is exactly what it means in English in Hebrew, free from fault and censure. Harmless however translates to (of the mind) without a mixture of evil, free from guile. Therefore, when we complain or argue, we introduce evil into our minds. And this makes perfect sense to me. I don’t know about you friend, but I know when I complain, it’s never from a place of happiness or purity. It’s usually from dissatisfaction with something. And dissatisfaction whether from selfish ambition or envy is a work of the flesh and not a fruit of the spirit.
Without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation
Yes, this generation is crooked and perverse. James 4:4 says:
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
This suggests that God and the World are opposite and not of the same mind. So, it makes sense that if God is pure and holy, the world is crooked and perverse, and we need to be found without fault in this world.
So in those moments when we’re complaining, we become a part of the world which means we are not in the body of Christ.
Among whom you shine as lights in the world.
I find it interesting that Paul doesn’t say here “among whom you should shine as lights in the world”. He says “among whom you shine as lights in the world”. This shows that as children of God, we already shine as lights in this world. It’s not something we have to work for or at. Our natural state of being as an extension of Christ is to be a light. So when we complain or argue, we alter our natural states in Christ and dim the light of the Holy Spirit in us.
James 3:5-6 says:
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
As small as it is, the tongue is not an easy organ to control. However, in order to live the life God called us to live and to be the light He wants us to be. We must work hard at controlling our tongues so we can reap the full benefits of not complaining.
Prayer: Heavenly father, today, I ask for the strength of the Spirit in me to help me control my tongue and thoughts when I feel the urge to complain. I wish to be found without fault and to shine in this crooked and perverse world. Thank You for your strength in me, Lord. Amen.
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