Friday, June 29, 2007

Complaining Anyone?

"Philippians 2:14 says, 'Do all things without grumbling or questioning.' All things. Yes. The next verse goes on to tell us why: '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.' The New International Version translates this passage as 'do everything without complaining or arguing.' Complaining, grumbling, arguing, questioning - these are the hallmarks of a crooked and twisted generation. When we avoid these behaviors, we shine as bright lights.

"Why is the Bible concerned about complaining? Because complaining drowns out our witness that God is good and His ways are best. This is significant when we think of our singleness. As we grumble, question, argue, and complain about our status, we are contradicting our gospel witness. We are saying, in effect, that salvation is good but not as good as getting married. We might think we're justified in complaining about this (or other issues), but as one of my pastors, Chris Silard, said in a recent sermon: 'When we justify our complaining, we are crossing out the word all from this command.'

"Why is this so serious? For one reason, Chris says, in the church it's serious because of the way it disrupts the harmony of the people and hinders the work of grace and the advancement of the gospel. He adds, 'But it's more serious than that. When we grumble and question and complain, we have become God's judge. We have told Him at least things: 1) You are not enough for me. I cannot be content with things the way they are. This difficulty is too great for me to respond to in a way that pleases You. You are deficient, and ultimately You do not satisfy me. I want a different God. 2) You are not wise. If I were you, God, I would do things differently. You should have consulted me before You allowed this difficulty in my life or before you chose to keep that good thing from me that I want and don't have.'"

Carolyn McCulley, Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God With a Hope Deferred, pages 187-188.

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