Let Your Light Shine

“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 labor in vain” (Philippians 2:14-16).

Once again Paul hits us right between the eyes with his words. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing” … I mean, for real? I wish I could have a sit down with Paul about this. 

Me: Paul, like for real? Everything? 

Paul: I said what I said.

Me: I know… but EVER-Y-THING?!

Paul: Yes, Carrie. Everything. 

Me: OK (I fear there would be an eye roll here on my part) ... by grumbling and arguing, you mean with big things, right? Kind of like a “don’t sweat the small stuff” moment? 

Paul: Do we need to revisit the “everything” part? 

Me: But, whyyyyyyy? It’s so haaarrrddd. 

I just have to believe it would have gone very much like this. And I believe he’d be wearing a smile that he was having this conversation with the poster child for the whole grumbling thing. 

But Paul knew the power of positivity. He understood how we gather more with honey than vinegar. Nobody likes a grumbler, but complaining has become so prevalent in today’s culture that we often don’t even realize what we are doing. That must be the quality we lean into first while we live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Just a few minutes of news or social media will prove this. 

So, we have to be light willing to shine into the darkness. This is what Jesus means when He says, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Stop your mumbling and complaining and disputing about almost everything that comes in your life. From traffic jams to buying limits on toilet paper, we have to make the choice not to grumble. It is an act of obedience in faith that produces that quality of life full of blessings -- and a sweet perspective. It’s a choice to find the silver lining … and we can all do it. 

Do we lean first toward the positive or the negative? Lord, keep our focus on the positive and allow us to be a light of hope in a world that needs that light desperately.
 
By Carrie Peterson

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