ALL things? Really?

Philippians 2:14 says Do all things without grumbling or complaining.  Whoa.  ALL things?   Really?

Yep.  That's what it says.  And since "grumbling and complaining" are activities of the tongue, we're including it in the Tidbits on the Tongue series.  ALL things.  Hmmmmmmmm.

The audacity of the Apostle Paul to pen these words.  ALL things indeed!  Did he have to put up with the mate that you do?  Or the co-worker?  Or the toddler???  Did 30% of his paycheck go to a government that wasted his money frivolously?  Did his family dump all their work on him and then neglect to appreciate him properly?  And what about his in-laws -- did Paul even have any in-laws?  Did he plan all sorts of wonderful family activities, in an attempt to be a marvelous parent and raise marvelous children with marvelous memories, and then have the weather ruin the whole day? And what about health - does he know what it's like to battle a terminal disease?  Or live with debilitating pain day after day? Maybe if Paul had to put up with some of what you put up with, well, then maybe he wouldn't be so glib about instructing us to do this stuff without any sort of grumbling or complaining.

For sure.

Did you know that Paul wrote those words while chained to a Roman soldier?  Did you know that he had been beaten and whipped and robbed?  Not to mention rejected and ridiculed and repudiated.  Yet he continued to teach and preach and serve and make tents without grumbling and complaining.  And he tells us in this letter to the believers at Philippi that God expects us to do the same.

Oh.

Seems pretty impossible.  I mean, really, everybody complains.  At least a little!  Even if it's just about the weather!  It would be odd not to, wouldn't it?

That seems to be precisely the point. Check out the next verse

that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Oh.  Oh. 

So maybe, just maybe, if we Christ-followers don't grumble and complain like everybody else does, we might stick out like lights in the darkness.  And the world might take notice that we are different and wonder why.

And maybe, just maybe, we could then give an account for the hope that is within us.  And gladly explain that we can do all the things we do cheerfully without complaint because we trust our loving and sovereign Heavenly Father who directs our lives and is always at work for our good. 

ALL things.  Oh.