WEDNESDAY, MAY 22
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 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,”
Philippians 2:14-15 (ESV)
FLYING THE TRAPEZE: THE COMPLAINER
After being away on business, Tim thought it would be nice to bring his wife a little gift. “How about some perfume?” he asks the cosmetics clerk. She shows him a bottle costing $50.00. “That’s a bit much,” says Tim, so she returns with a smaller bottle for $30.00. “That’s still quite a bit,” Tim complains. Growing annoyed, the clerk brings out a tiny $15.00 bottle. “What I mean,” says Tim, “is I’d like to see something really cheap.” At that point the clerk hands him a mirror.
There are some people who will complain no matter what. In Philippians 2:14-15 we are told that being someone who doesn’t complain sets us apart as God’s children. Paul says that when we don’t complain we “shine as lights in the world.” He wasn’t saying that some transitions and stages of life wouldn’t be tough. But he was teaching that God can give us the grace we need to stay positive. In fact, our witness is even stronger when we can stay hopeful even in tough situations.
Occasionally you will hear someone say, “I’m not negative. I’m just a realist. That’s just the way I am wired.” Sometimes, not always, being a “realist” is our excuse to be a negative complainer. Every once in a while we should stop and look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are that complainer. If we are, we need to see whether our attitude reflects poorly on the Christ we claim to follow.