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One Life Blog

May 27, 2014

Complainers Beware

“Do all things without complaining and disputing.” Philippians 2:14

How often I recall my father saying to me as a child, "You can't control much in this life, but you can control your attitude." Oh, how those words have stuck with me through the years! They encourage me to wake up each day and make a decision to tackle it with a positive disposition - irrespective of what comes my way.

The apostle Paul provides similar encouragement in his joyful letter to his brothers and sisters in Philippi. You see, controlling one's attitude has been an age-old challenge, and the Philippians were engaged in a battle to do just that, as they fought against a spirit of negativity and grumbling that had the potential to divide the early church. It's interesting to me that Paul didn't provide exceptions to the rule. For instance, he didn't say, "Don't complain -- unless you are having a bad day". Or, "Don't complain -- unless you have something unexpected happen that creates difficulty in your life." Or better yet, he didn't say, "Don't complain -- unless someone wrongs you." That's right, good ol' Paul manages to remove all stipulations and makes an absolute mandate by implanting that word "everything" into the verse.

So, what does this mean for us? Well, for one it means there is never a biblical grounds for complaining and grumbling. Ever. We are charged by God to remove all such negativity from our life. On the contrary, we are to replace it with a joyful attitude. We find this decree in the Tarsus Tentmaker’s famous letter to Thessalonica, where he states “be joyful always”. That’s right, another absolute --- always. Not sometimes. Not nearly all the time. But always. I don’t know about you, but I can’t muster that mentality in and of myself. I need help from above. Oh, that I might be sensitive to the Spirit and let Him guide me through each day. Then, and only then, might I take heed to Paul’s encouragements.

In closing, I like how Joyce Meyer puts it best, “Complain and remain. Praise and be raised.” May we seek elevated heights at One Life by fostering a culture of praise!

Scotty Elliott
President & CEO