Verse 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
If the opposite of grumbling is praise and thankfulness what is the counter attitude to arguing? Just as grumbling has two counter reactions we find two facets to the opposites of arguing. Let’s look at the first one today.
We don’t have to be very old to know that the basis of many arguments are differences of opinion. It is often easier to get into an argument than it is to find common ground. Paul warned the Galatians that “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:15) He has the same thought in mind for his friends at Philippi. So what is one way that we can combat the arguing that so often happens in relationships?
We like to think peace means no strife but actually that isn’t the truth. Peace isn’t the result of agreeing about everything. Peace comes with choosing not to demand our own way. If the issue isn’t eternally relevant then it is important to remember that the relationship is more important than our thoughts on the particular topic.
Peace doesn’t mean just giving into the other person’s ideas either. In fact sometimes peace is reached in its fullness when we are open and calmly voice our opinions and respectfully listen to the other person’s opinion. That is because by knowing the other person’s viewpoint we can better understand where they are coming from on this topic and maybe even others. Knowing where someone is coming from allows us to love them through our differences and strengthen the relationship through mutual respect.
By choosing peace we are choosing the humility that Jesus lived out by coming to earth. Humility shows that we value the other person maybe even when they don’t deserve it. Choosing to value others can bring us great growth as we may start to see ourselves and viewpoints from a slightly different perspective. We may not change our opinion, although we may, but we may see our opinion with new glasses. And when the world sees how God’s people deal with differences without arguing it will have an impact!
Making It Personal
What are some things that are hot button topics for you? Do you find yourself arguing about them? Who do you need to live in peace with today?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you think you are always right? Do you fight about things with your friends because they don’t agree with you? Who can you live in peace with today?
Father, You have called us to live in peace with other believers and yet our pride often gets in the way. Forgive us for breaking relationships because of demanding our own way. Teach us humility. In Jesus’ name, amen.