Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shine Like the Stars

14-Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15-so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16-as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17-But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service. 18-So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
~Philippians 2:14-18
How we communicate and interact with one another has powerful implications for ourselves, as well as others. In Philippians chapter two, Paul links how we communicate with ourselves and others directly to our endeavors to engage the world around us with the message of Christ. Paul actually had faith that this small band of followers in Philippi could influence the world around them as they were to "shine like the stars."

Paul could have said, "try to do most things" without grumbling and arguing, but he didn't. He said, "do everything..." Interestingly, the word Paul chose for "grumbling," It's a whispering, to yourself muttering in disgust or annoyance. It's what we do under our breath as we walk away from a spouse, co-worker, sales clerk, etc when we are dissatisfied with the outcome of a conversation or something that was said. It's toxic to our souls and infective to those around us.

Often, the muttering, serves as a type of bait. We mutter something under our breath, not so much to be understood, but to be heard. Hoping that someone will say, "What was that...?" Only to give means and permission for us to vent.

Paul connects this outflow to our level of "purity" and "blamelessness," not to mention our influence on the world around us.

Christmas is a season of shopping bliss, unfortunately the bliss wears off before we can even find a parking spot. Everything beyond that can easily become a chore, a duty and a hassle. To which, Paul simply says...

...Do everything without grumbling and arguing...

Here's a further teaching on this idea from our series Philippians: Discovering God in the Midst of Life.

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