Most people assume they are generally agreeable and easy-going. Few people would proudly say they were hard to get along with or difficult to be around.
But if you added up every argumentative, complaining, and frustrated word you spoke this week, along with all your eye rolls, disappointed sighs, and grumbling grunts, you would likely be shocked by how much of your time is bound up in expressing your discontent and dissatisfaction. In fact, some people talk about little else!
Last time we considered Paul’s exhortation to the Philippian church—and by extension, every believer—to “do all things without grumbling or disputing” (Philippians 2:14). But the apostle didn’t merely issue an abrupt command—in the subsequent verses, he gives us some clear reasons why believers must not follow the discontent, complaining pattern of the world.
For the Sake of Your Testimony
Immediately following his exhortation to “do all things without grumbling or disputing” Paul writes, “so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach” (Philippians 2:15). The first reason believers must stop complaining is for the sake of their own testimonies.
Very few things are as accurate a measure of the true nature of your heart as how you react to trials and disappointment. And if you’ve developed a reputation as a complainer, there’s no amount of tracts you can hand out or fish symbols you can slap on your car to make people think you’re godly. The presence or absence of a complaining spirit in your day-to-day life is likely a stronger testimony to those around you than the actual words you say.