Learning to Look Up
Verse 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
Having talked about the damage that grumbling and arguing can have in a Christian’s life and the life of the Church we need to look at the flipside. If we are not supposed to do these things, what are we supposed to do instead?
Our first impressions would be to say that we are supposed to do the opposite of those things; that we should do everything with praising and agreeing. But that isn’t really possible, is it? Furthermore it may not always be right to do so. Paul wasn’t giving his readers something that he thought was impossible nor was he glossing over the need for these things in our lives.
If we would say, “Do everything with praising” we would all think of situations where that just wouldn’t work for us. How are we supposed to praise when we are running late because of a slow driver in front of us? Or is it even possible to praise when we have just had an out of the blue diagnosis just when life seemed to be easing up and running smooth? How can we praise during these types of situations?
It comes back to the choice to live in humility just as Jesus did. If we were to compare the trials in our lives to the trials in Jesus’ life we would the extreme underdog. And though His trials were greater than we could ever imagine, He lived a life of praise. By comparison we have nothing to complain about and yet we do.
We are so focused on this world and the things that bother us that we miss all the reasons we have for praise. As Christians we are supposed to be living as people who understand better than most who God is. And if we know who He is we can’t help but know reasons to praise Him even in the midst of our biggest struggles.
James says to count it all joy when we face trials (James 1:2) because of what it will produce in us. This alone is a reason for great joy. The fact that troubles can come into our life and we can know that God will use them for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28) should bring us to excessive praise. He is with us in the hard moments of life and He deserves our greatest praise. Always!
Making It Personal
Do you find it hard to praise in the moments of life that are frustrating or angering? Why is it so easy to grumble and complain? How are you going to intentionally praise Him in a storm today?
Making It Personal Kids
Is it easy to praise Jesus when things aren’t going your way? Why is it hard? What are you going to praise Jesus about today?
Father, we are a selfish people. We grumble and complain when we have no right to do so. You are ever faithful and we owe You all the praise we can muster. Please help us look for things to praise You about instead of complaining. In Jesus’ name, amen.