Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
(Philippians 2:14-16 ESV)
The world is looking for peace and love. No one is going to be attracted to Jesus – who is peace and love – if they see His followers arguing with themselves. God calls on us – His children – to put aside our selfish differences and display unity with each other and Him just as Jesus did [Philippians 2:5-8].
If God’s children do not grumble or dispute the world will not be able to find justifiable fault with us. God is not commanding us to be perfect. We know that it is not possible. Rather God is commanding us not to give non-believers reasons to not believe. When non-believers see believers not getting along they will not be inclined to seek answers from Jesus.
The world we live in is “crooked and twisted”. There is much sin. People are living in the dark, not realizing that what they are doing is separating them from God. But believers “shine as lights in the world”. Notice that God is not commanding us to shine as lights. He is stating that we do shine as lights. God Himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit, indwells every believer. God is light [John 8:12, 1 John 1:5] and we are shining His light on those around us, even when we don’t realize it.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a place in life we’d rather not be. Whether it be a job we hate or a difficult marriage or even a country that is rapidly turning its back on God. We may long to get out of that situation. But God has placed His children in precisely these environments for a reason. Light shines brightest in the darkness.
Wherever we are, there is someone who needs to see the light of Jesus. We are that light. Remaining obedient to God by staying where He has placed us or doing what He’s asked us, without grumbling or disputing, will allow that light to shine brightest. When we act with humility – not concerned with our own welfare but for the welfare of others – we might actually change someone’s eternity.
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