Do all things

without grumbling

or disputing.

Philippians 2:14

*grumble, grumble, grumble* Why do I have to wear this blasted mask?

*humph, humph, humph* I just hate Zoom calls!

*grr, grr, grr* I can’t believe the National League is going to have the Designated Hitter

We’ve been reading through the book of Philippians lately in our Bible Reading Plan. It is SO timely, isn’t it?

For example, the command in 2:14 to do everything without grumbling is deeply convicting. In this season so much seems so hard. Just going grocery shopping is a massive inconvenience. We’ve had to give up so many plans. The temptation is strong to gripe and complain, to turn critical and cynical. But 2:14 confronts that attitude.

And Paul’s admonition fits right into the larger context. Paul has been calling on Christians of all people to be radically selfless. Grumbling reveals deep-seated selfishness. We grumble when our own preferences, desires, or needs are not being met. But in Philippians, Paul is saying that we should think of others’ needs above our own.

When we have that posture of humility and servanthood, it reduces the impulse to complain. Unity becomes more important than my individual comfort. The glory of Christ becomes my aim more than having things done my way. Serving others becomes a joy instead of a hassle. I don’t have to assert my will; I can adapt, even submit, to others’ wills.

As we re-convene meeting together a lot is going to be asked of each of us. There will be decisions made that you don’t like or disagree with or would have done differently. You’ll have new opportunities to sacrifice your time and ease and schedule to prioritize community. You may remember that the people you had a break from for a while can annoy you.

But our desire should be to have a heart that says, “Whatever it takes, I’ll do it! Count me in! How can I help? Whatever God asks, I’ll trust him to help me obey. In what ways can I give up my desires to serve someone else?” We should gladly do things we don’t like because it’s for someone we love.

This is going to be a great chance to lay aside our own preferences and bend over backwards to accommodate others’. We are going to have ample opportunity to extend a lot of grace to each other.

Why would we want to do this? It’s easier to grumble and disengage. We do it, quite simply, because Jesus did it for us. Have you experienced his grace – Christ’s utter humility displayed in leaving the comfort and ease of heaven to be infinitely inconvenienced for you? He didn’t have a chip on his shoulder as he bore the Cross for you. Doesn’t that make you want to stop whining about little things and live for others?

“I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:8). I can’t wait to see you!

Seeking to selflessly serve you,

And needing your selfless grace,

Pastor Nathan