Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A New Spin on 'Grumbling'

I found a weekly women's bible study that I am finding both challenging and encouraging. We are studying Philippians and Colossians, though we're only on chapter 3 of Philippians so far. This is only my second week, but I'm loving the in depth analysis and verse-by-verse discussions.

Yesterday we went back to 1:27: "Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel..." and found all of the mandates in chapter 2 on how to make that a reality:

  • Do nothing from selfishness of vein conceit...
  • Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others...
  • Work out your salvation with fear and trembling...
  • Do all things without grumbling and disputing...
  • Rejoice and share joy...
  • Receive with joy and hold in high esteem those who live in a manner worthy of the Gospel...

And there are more, but our discussion about grumbling and disputing really hit home and I wanted to share the high points.

Most people think that they have a right to grumble. They are annoyed at a situation or a person and, whether inward or outward, want to express their discontent with their current lot in life. Our bible study leader said she heard once this quote, "Grumbling is casually despising the sovereignty of God."

Wow. That makes a lot of sense. If you truly trust that God is in control of every situation, then you have to trust that he's in control of the situations that you don't especially appreciate too. When you grumble about it, whether inward or outward, you're showing your distrust in God's hand over your life. I'm not sure I've ever considered my complaining to be synonymous with distrusting God.

Now that I have this perspective, I just hope I can keep it in the front of my mind the next time things aren't going my way. A 'manner worthy of the Gospel' can be tough to attain, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't work towards it - in fact, we're instructed to work towards it despite the difficulty!

3 comments:

Kelly said...

Our church is doing a series on James, with lots of convicting sermons on grumbling! check out their website if you want some more conviction in that area! :) xoxo

Janice said...

Hmmmm....definitely something to think about. Wow, I guess I am distrusting God a lot these days. Yikes! No more grumbling for me:-)

suzannah said...

amen. thanks for this.