Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, innocent children of God surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt. Among these people you shine like stars in the world because you hold on to the word of life. This will allow me to say on the day of Christ that I haven’t run for nothing or worked for nothing. – Philippians 2:14-16
Kudos once again to BibleGateway.com for posting timely and poignant scripture. Today’s “verse-of-the-day” has long been a favorite of mine but it is always helpful to have it brought back to mind.
You see, we live in a “grumbling and arguing” world. These first two decades of the 21st Century seems to have cultivated a default negative mindset that is – I believe – a contaminate that infiltrates and replicate like a virus.
It’s as if the credo “complain first and ask questions later” has taken root in the soul of people without regard even to principles of faith.
Let me be clear about gossip: If that is the way you see the world, and if it is so easy for you to fill in the blanks with cynical/negative assumptions rather than the positive, then the light of the gospel of love is not in you.
Paul describes a Gospel Mindset in this way: “From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).
Strong Kids: Bright Future!
Of course, it helps to spend a few days with the grandchildren. Today was “Dress as what you want to be when you grow up” day at school. David said he wants to be an Eagle Scout; Beks wants to be a Rock Star.
Talk about positive affirmations. Talk about strong examples of what it means to shine in the world. Like the shirt Beks is wearing: “Strong Girl: Bright Future.” Like the ideal David is modeling.
Let’s break this down. We are encouraged to, “Shine like stars in the world because we hold on to the Word of Life.”
Excellent words, Paul. But how do we shine? Mr. Apostle has some suggestions:
- Do everything without grumbling and arguing. If you grumble, you’re not shining.
- Focus your thoughts on what’s admirable.
- Pay close attention to what is true.
- Concentrate on the holy.
- Think about what is just – remember the connection between justice and righteousness?
- Promote the pure and the lovely.
- Talk about things worthy of praise.
- Now, practice all of these things – just like you see in the leaders God has given you.
The result? Peace. Peace and more peace. Any questions?
For the Christian, this should be a no-brainer. Do. Not. Grumble & Argue!! Shine! Shine like stars in the world!
Because this is who we are called to be – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.