Do everything without complaining or disputing so that you will be blameless and pure, children of God without any fault. But you are living with evil people all around you, who have lost their sense of what is right. Among those people you shine like lights in a dark world, and you offer them the teaching that gives life. Philippians 2:14-16
This verse can be such a hard one for us parents of special kids. Do everything without complaining or disputing? Wow. That's a sucker punch to the gut isn't it? I know I'm guilty of complaining when Liam has thrown up four times in one day. I'm guilty of complaining when we can't get the services, equipment, or therapies for Liam that I want. And I have certainly complained when things didn't go the way I had expected. I'm pretty sure I disputed God's call to take Brady home too.
But this verse is a great reminder for us as Christian's. It's important to take an honest look at our motives in these situations and assess what our complaints are about and what affect we are causing.
When you delve into the Greek text for these verses you will see that the words for complaining (goggusmos) and disputing (dialogismos) were terms used for grumbling against God and in the body of Christ, causing dissensions and low grumbling discontent. We must make sure we do not get into a habit of complaining (grumbling and murmuring) like ancient Israel. While my grumblings may not be a continual grumble of discontent against God, they still affect my attitude toward what The Lord has sought to do in my life. My grumblings lesson his sovereignty, His will for my life.
I know my Jesus is big enough to to let His light shine through in my darkness (when I have complained) so that I may offer others the teaching that gives life. I pray that my circumstances will allow others to see Christ in me and even though I may complain a few times, I know that I am better because of my circumstances because I have a hope and joy in Jesus that overpowers the problems I may face here.
I complained because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet. (Arab proverb)