Speaker: Jerry Cisar
“In one study, researchers found that happy people complain less” (Psychology Today). They may have been able to save some time had they read Paul. Philippians 2:14-18 begins with an imperative (command) to “do everything without grumbling or arguing.” You could say “complaining or bickering.”
Paul’s buildup to delivering this instruction indicates that he must think it is a vitally important. In 2:6-8, Paul described the unwavering obedience of Jesus to the Father all the way to the point of death. In 2:12-13, Paul commends the Philippians past obedience, and calls them (and us) to an increasing obedience. After all this build up, whatever he asks them to do next, obedience must be very important.
Why is this command to do everything without grumbling or arguing so important? It may help to know that this same paragraph ends with another command – a double command to rejoice. These two commands, set at each end of this paragraph, tell us that we can’t be joyful while we are grumbling and arguing among ourselves. You have to let go of grumblings in order to enter the joy of Christ. To experience joy we need to stop our complaining.
Is your joy complete? Are interpersonal complaints and disputes, grumblings and bickering, keeping you from experiencing full joy in Christ? Join us in worship as we explore this theme in Philippians 2:14-18, part six in our series: Slaves of Christ – The Message of Philippians.