Philippians 2: 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life,
How often do we grumble and complain? Is that all you do with your spouse, your children, or with your parents or friends? Is that all you do on social media? Are you tired of feeling depressed all the time? Well ask yourself if you are a grumbler, disputer, and complainer. How can you expect to not be depressed when all you do is complain about everything?
God's holy word tells us to do all things (not just some or a few but all things) without grumbling or disputing. We are to be a people of thanksgiving. We are to be content whether we have or we lack. We are to be thankful to our Father above. Grumbling and complaining is a sin against your heavenly Father. It shows a lack of faith and is besmirching the goodness of God. All things that you have are from God and He gives good gifts to his children. Your complaining and grumbling is an attack on the good name of your Father. Romans 1 talks about those given over to judgment by God. And the two triggers for God giving people over are "they did not honor him as God nor give thanks to him." To grumble and complain is to dishonor God and to not give him the thanks due him. It leads to a darkened heart and foolish thinking. It ends with judgment from God.
So how do you stop the cycle of grumbling and disputing?
1. Confess your sin of grumbling and disputing to God and beg his forgiveness for besmirching his name and character. Don't make excuses for it, just confess it recognizing it is evil and God hates it. Do this every time you find yourself grumbling and complaining.
2. In verse 16 of Philippians 2 it says "holding fast to the word of life." The key to doing all things without grumbling and disputing is to hold fast to the word of life. Whenever you are tempted to grumble and complain remind yourself of God's word.
1 Peter 1: 13 says "Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
The King James says gird up the loins of your mind, that is prepare your mind for battle. This means you need to be hiding God's word in your heart so that you will not sin. For those tempted to grumble and complain all the time, you need to go through scripture and begin memorizing passages that remind you of God's holiness and your sinfulness. You need to remind yourself that you deserve nothing from the hand of God. You deserve his wrath and judgment. And then remind yourself from scripture of God's mercy to you a sinner. Everything that you have is a gift from him.
Mark Cox is fond of saying that we sweat more in practice so we bleed less in battle. If you want to be able to battle the temptation to grumble and complain, you need to spend time meditating on God's word.
3. Philippians 4: 4 says 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! You are commanded to rejoice in God. Your are forbidden from grumbling and disputing. The Scriptures over and over again command us to be thankful. You need to spend time reminding yourself of what you are thankful for versus spending time reminding yourself of everything to complain about. If you grumble and complain all the time on social media then discipline yourself to spend one month where you make a post every day about something you are thankful for. I did this back in July and called it #ThanksgivinginJuly. It was a time of refreshment for me and reminded me of how great our God is. November is next week. I challenge you to use that whole month to either post on social media or write a journal entry of something you are thankful for every day. When you cultivate within you a thankfulness to God you will find that you have less time to grumble and complain.
Listen, depression can attack the best of us. I am not trying to belittle that at all. But you are not allowed to just sit back and take its attacks. You are not allowed to grumble and complain all the time and then call yourself a child of the Almighty. You want it to be proven that you are a child of God in the midst of this dark world, then shine as a light by doing all things, even the hard things, without grumbling or disputing. Then you will be proven blameless and innocent.