A lot of very familiar sound bites here, which can easily become dogmatic commands sure to cause failure if not read in context and lived out by the power of the Holy Spirit. This chapter can be overwhelming as Paul admonishes us to imitate Christ in His humility...and put others first....and don't grumble... it's almost a relief when he moves on to talk about Timothy and Epaphroditus - as if just when I can't take any more conviction, he eases the pressure by changing the subject. Here's my takeaway for the week:
Scripture: Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 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... (Phil 2:14-15)
Observation: Our attitude is a powerful witness, something that makes us distinct and enables us to bring the light of Christ to the world.
Application: Often, if not only, it is in the home where I am most guilty of grumbling and arguing. I can morph from servant to martyr at the drop of a hat, or at least a wet towel, and things can quickly get ugly. What kind of message is this sending my family? Only by tapping into Christ and following his example of humility - not servant-doormat as this world would have you think, but servant-leader - can I hope to move from being ruled by emotions and expectations to being ruled by the Spirit.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I confess I am powerless to "do everything without grumbling or arguing" without leaning in to you for grace and patience. Cause me to cling to you, remembering the true humility of Jesus, to pray before speaking, and to serve in a manner that glorifies you and shines your light to others. Amen.