Am I Going to Grumble or Shine Today?

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 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 labour in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Philippians 2:14-18

Sometimes I make life about me. And sometimes this leads to complaining. I can definitely be a grumbler.

So I find Paul’s words to the Philippians convicting today. I mean, really? Do everything without grumbling or arguing? Those are high expectations! Why not most things? Or on some (crappy) days only some things?

I guess the whole point is growing in Jesus-likeness even when I don’t feel like it, when I don’t have the warm and fuzzies, when life hits me with stuff that is frustrating or uncomfortable. It is on these days—or in these moments—I’m supposed to shine. That happens when I stop focusing on myself and what I want and put it on others around me. Easier said than done, which is why I require the work of the Holy Spirit in me.

Here are some words from today’s Lectio 365 devotional:

“I am struck by the idea that I can shine like a star in this world. Not like the star of celebrity, but the star of service. Paul encourages me in Romans to ‘Take [my] everyday, ordinary life—[my] sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering’ (Rom. 12:1 in The Message).”

And then the prayer: Lord, help me today to pour my life out for the sake and service of others. I want to be known as one who gives and not one who takes. Amen.