Do everything without complaining or arguing. Philippians 2:14
WHERE DOES A COMPLAINING SPIRIT COME FROM?
- For me, it is when I think I am getting “less than I deserve.” And it comes from a sense of entitlement, “I should have what I want.”
The truth is that we are all wretched sinners with hearts that are entirely bent on evil apart from Christ. What I deserve is separation from God and punishment in hell. 🙁 But God lavishes His grace on me – not because I deserve it or can ever earn it (I can’t!) – but because He wants to.
When I focus on what is wrong in my life, that 20% that is not what I want, or maybe it is only 0.05% – but when I focus on what is wrong, I am not living in a spirit of gratitude and joy. I am focusing on myself in a selfish way. And I am tarnishing the image of Christ.
Why are we to do everything without arguing or complaining?
“So that you may shine like stars in the universe as you hold forth the Word of Life.” Phil 2:14.
It is God’s will for me to live humbly and to be content with Christ, food for today and clothes on my back. If I have those 3 things – God instructs me to be content.
A complaining spirit also says arrogantly to God, “You are holding out on me. You are not giving me what is best. I question your intentions and motives towards me and I distrust You.”
Check out the story of God’s people during the Exodus from Egypt. How did God respond to them when they grumbled? God hates it when His people whine, complain and grumble against Him. It is by faith we please God – not by complaining.
CAUTION – IT IS IMPORTANT TO SAY WHAT YOU NEED/WANT and HOW YOU FEEL – usually once. Especially if you have strong views about something. I am not saying to be quiet and never have an opinion or a voice.
But I want us to learn DISCRETION and WISDOM so that we understand what is important information to share, vs. what is complaining.
- If I am hot – there is no need to complain about that. Everyone knows it is hot outside.
- If I am about to suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke – I need to tell someone that I need to get to water and get inside quickly because I am not ok, I am physically in danger.
See the difference?
WHERE DOES AN ARGUMENTATIVE/CONTENTIOUS SPIRIT COME FROM?
Why did I fight and argue with my husband? For me, it was because I believed I was RIGHT about whatever the little issue was.
I had PRIDE PRIDE PRIDE through the roof. I seriously believed I was always right. And therefore, my husband was always wrong. I did not trust God. I trusted myself. I said I trusted God. But that is not how I lived. Honestly, I believed I knew better than anyone else. And, if you look at how I lived, I believed I knew better than God – because I was not obeying His Word for me as a wife.
Let me just mention – this stuff didn’t show up much before we were married. It was after we were married and I realized I was not going to get what I wanted that I began to become contentious.
I fight and argue because:
- I want my way.
- I think I am right.
- I want control over my husband and my circumstances – and, truthfully – I want to be sovereign instead of God.
- I am afraid of what would happen if I wasn’t in control. I don’t trust God.
- I am rebelling against God’s Word.
- I am selfish.
- my sinful nature is in control, not God’s Spirit of peace and unity.
- I am stubborn.
- I am carnal and worldly.
- “Being right” is more important to me than the unity of my marriage.
- “Being right” is more important to me than meeting my husband’s need for respect.
- I am making the little issue and “being right” more important to me than my obedience to God, my intimacy with Christ and the strength of my marriage.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
God detests pride. I MUST humble myself like a little child before God in order for Him to work in my life and for me to become a godly woman.
1. What could you do for your man (or for your family or roommate or friend) today that would be very meaningful to that person?
2. What expectations do you need to drop so that you can do this with a cheerful, joyful heart – expecting nothing in return and not storing up resentment in your heart?
3. What does today’s verse at the top teach us about the kind of women God desires us to be?
4. Commit to sharing important information and feelings with your man (and maybe even with others) in a brief, concise, unemotional way. How could you share your heart, desires and needs with him without blaming him, making him the bad guy or raking him over the coals?
5. How can you be responsible for your own feelings and emotions and allow your man (and other people) to be responsible for his feelings and emotions?
6. How can you tell the difference between sharing your needs and your perspective vs. complaining or arguing?