Why Do We Complain And Argue?

When I was a kid, my mom used to quote Philippians 2:14 to us all the time:

Do everything without grumbling or arguing – Philippians 2:14 (NIV)

Why?  Because we were whiny and argumentative kids!  This is more than just sound advice to Christians in the church.  This is a vitally important commandment from Paul.  Why do we grumble (complain) and argue?  Because we have lost sight of what is really important!  We turn into Israel wandering in the wilderness for 40 years!  What did they do?  They complained all the time and they fought with Moses and each other.  This is not how it should be!  Rather, we should be thankful, grateful, considerate and merciful.
When we lose sight of what this is really all about, God’s Kingdom loses and the enemy wins.  Why do we complain?  Because we forget about Heaven.  If you woke up every day with the thought, “My sins are forgiven and I’m going to go to Heaven someday,” how much different would your life be?!?  About what could you possibly complain?!?  Everything else is so unimportant.  In the church, we typically complain about our personal preferences and someone else’s infringing upon them.
If we’re not complaining, then we’re arguing with each other.  Again, about what are we arguing?  Personal preferences!  We sound like siblings in the back seat of the car on a long trip.  “Would you stop touching me?!?”  It’s petty stuff that we often end up arguing over.  In the grand scheme of things, half of that stuff doesn’t really matter!
What does matter is our witness to the world.  Paul says that when we stop the complaining and arguing, we become “blameless and pure” and we “shine like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2:15, NIV).  We are able to shine Christ’s light into a dark world that so desperately needs light.  But if we spend all our time and energy complaining about not getting our way, we have none left to tell people about Jesus.  If we spend all of our time fighting with each other, we have no time to combat the spiritual forces of evil in prayer.  The next time you go to complain about something, offer up a prayer of thanks instead.  If you’re involved in an argument or a dispute, consider whether or not it is worth a dimmed light in this dark world.

Philippians 2:12-18 (NIV)

Do Everything Without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 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 16 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. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.


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