“14 Do everything without complaining or arguing,15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Philippians 2:14-15 NLT
As you read my article, I think I know what you may be thinking. You are likely thinking, “Hey, I’m not Jesus.” To be perfectly honest, it’s the same way I felt, when reviewing the verse above a moment ago. My immediate thought became, 'Who in the world is NEVER going to complain or argue? Have you been to Walmart lately?'
My next human thought became, 'Surely to goodness, (Jesus) the Bible isn’t suggesting we’re to be perfect?' Just being honest. I’ll come back to that in a second.
For certain, we’re not Jesus. It’s not even close. Complaining, arguing, and disagreeing with others comes natural to humans. It’s like breathing. Again, it’s a no brainer. People like us find ourselves complaining and arguing. This is what we do.
As infants born into the world, we arrive making a lot of noise. We’re fussy, unhappy, shivering and cold until a warm blanket arrives. Later, we get older; we find ourselves returning to infant ways. We complain/bellyache about every discomfort under-the-sun. This over-reaction can become the “normal” response; our go-to in life whenever we are unhappy.
Now, back to that question about perfection. Jesus invites us to try a new approach. Non-human, let’s say. No more complaining, criticism, and gossip. Just ZIP IT. How is this possible? Again, Jesus promises to provide His daily support for everyone willing to work on it. Jesus informs us consistency flows from a healthy heart. It’s never about perfection. Always about improvement. Jesus will change our human heart. It is a miracle.
“34b For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34b NIV
As our hearts become more like Jesus' heart, we desire to become more of what God has in mind for us. Would people say, “You are coachable?” The Holy Spirit, God’s Word, Jesus’ Church on earth guides us to better self-control. More later.
Followers of Jesus are far from perfect. There is only ONE Jesus; perfect Son of God. We can/should, however, be willing to improve vital areas Jesus points out. Following Jesus more closely will improve lapses with inconsistency in words and actions.
This weekend at Journey Church let’s laugh a little at ourselves. Don’t take it so personal. We are just people. We can be such nagging, nit-pickers. We begin to complain when our team wins and say, “Well, they should have won by a larger margin.”
If this feels like a good time to refresh an attitude, maybe grab a new perspective. Join us at Journey Community Christian Church as we dive into a short 3-week series: ZIP IT.
We’ll find a little hope and humor together. Help is on the Way! Jesus is the Way!!!
Keep bringing those Journey guests when you arrive for weekend worship times. We keep filling the white chairs on the floor. Momentum continues. Let’s do this… Way to go Journey…. Go God!