“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe”
I generally pride myself (yeah, I know), on being able to stifle my complaints. Problem is, it’s not about what I can do, and I am sorely reminded of this as I watch the outside temperature climb.
Summer heat makes for a very grumpy me. I wake up grumpy, even go to bed grumpy sometimes, and try as I might to stop them, I have complaints going through my head 24/7, mostly trying to blame other people for the way I feel. I also blame the heat (at the moment, I’m thinking, “WHY did Mom put hot soup on the menu? It’s a freaking 100 degrees outside!!!”). But according to the passage above, this is not acceptable. Not. At. All. No exceptions.
See, if I tried all by myself to be blameless and perfect, I could certainly, indubitably pride myself on not complaining, since I alone am putting in all the effort; however, I’m not. If not for Christ, I could not do any of that at all. That’s what the whole of Philippians 2 is about, but here are verses 12 and 13, to add to the context. (Also, think about the Philippians. They were poor, very poor, and worried about Paul because he was in prison. Very good reasons to complain, if you ask me.)
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
It’s God. It’s not just me. Summer heat or not, I still have to work on being blameless and pure, because it’s God who works through me. I cannot, and should not complain, because God has lavished his blessings on me, first and foremost through salvation.
In fact, I guess I should be thankful for the summer heat, because as a thorn in my side, it reminds me I can do nothing by my own strength.