“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.” Philippians 2.14-18
I don’t know about you but to grumble and argue is my natural tendency. It’s so easy to fall into a negativity when life is not going my way. But in this passage, Paul cautions about this type of behavior. The Church in Philippi was not unlike our churches. They are filled with humans trying to live for God. This is why we need such a good reminder not to grumble or argue but to become blameless and pure.
What does it mean to become blameless and pure and to be ”children of God without fault in a warped in crooked generation?” It means we live in the world but do not become like the world. Famous American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr talks about this idea in his book “Christ and Culture.” In his book he presents five specific views as to how Christians should live and respond to the present culture. They are — Christ against culture, Christ of culture, Christ above culture, Christ and culture in paradox and Christ the transformer of culture. The final is perhaps the closest to what we as Christians are hoping to achieve — to bring transformation to the world and bring about the Kingdom of Heaven (https://www.focusonthefamily.ca/content/christ-and-culture-five-views).
We are called to be transformers of culture by being light in a dark world. And in truth, this begins with me, my attitude, my decisions, my faith in a God who supersedes my insecurities and sin. God in me is the hope of glory (Colossians 1.27). And although how I respond matters, it’s Christ who does the work in and through me to accomplish his good purposes. My ”yes” to Christ matters. My trust in him, and not in my own abilities, allows the work to continue and for grace to abound.
If you find yourself grumbling and complaining today, stop it! Seek to be blameless and pure, putting your whole trust in Jesus the author and perfector of your faith.
“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for allowing me to walk in newness of life. I praise you for the power of the Cross to save me. For your blood to redeem me. For your Spirit to fill me. Come now, Almighty God, have your way with me. Encourage me to become more than conquerers in a world in need to transformation. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen