Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Daily Journal for Wednesday 24th of November 2010

No Grumbling or Arguing!

S – “Do everything without grumbling or arguing.” Philippians 2:14

O – Paul knows that we are prone to grumble. We get in our heads an idea of how things should unfold, how God will help, how the ministry challenges will be met. And when they do not unfold how we thought, when God doesn’t intervene on time, and when our challenges aren’t met – we grumble. “Do you see what I’ve been doing!” “It’s not fair!” “Don’t you care!” Underlying all of these responses is a much deeper problem. I am revealing by my grumbling that that I am not really trusting God to do be faithful to his promises in his timing. I am showing that I think I know better, that I know the big picture when I don’t, that I am wiser than God.

Paul also says, “Do everything without… arguing.” There are many issues where people have a difference of opinion. Some want things done one way, others insist that it is done another. Who is right? On most occasions both are right. It’s just opinions. To spend a great deal of time arguing over opinions when our clear and agreed upon urgency is clear and undeniable seems silly. Paul would have us spending a great deal of our time practically worshipping, loving, serving, preaching,  teaching, equipping, praying and sharing the gospel far and wide. Arguing takes time and energy. It often is one ego against another. It often stops us from focusing on what God would have us do.

So don’t grumble and don’t argue.

A – Instead of grumbling and arguing I need to pray and dialogue.

If pray to God when I am feeling like grumbling I am letting him know my fears, my needs, my expectations, not to try to convince or control God but to give to him and trust the outcomes to him. When I pray I am trusting that our sovereign God is in control. This is far better that grumbling.

If through dialogue with others, I share my thoughts on an issue not to get my way but to express my own feelings and to listen to others thoughts and their ideas, then the final outcome will be much better that when I just shared my own thoughts to get my way. Two are better than one (Eccles 4:9a). Especially when the other people in the discussion are followers of Jesus who are seeking to hear and discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit. That’s why Solomon (the wisest man who ever lived) said, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

Today I will take my grumbling to God in prayer and give them to him, trusting him to do what he wants not what I want. I will also steer clear of people who only want me to listen to their opinion and who discard the thoughts of others. I will seek to listen intently to others to come to a wise decision rather than arguing.

P – Thank-you Father, you speak through your Word to me. Help me to put into practice the truth you have shown me today. Amen.  

Daily Readings Philippians 2-3

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