Philippians 4:4-7 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Easier said than done I hear you say, but these words were written by Paul in prison. He had endured so much. It is only by God’s grace that he had survived so far. Yet he could still talk about joy and peace. It was the peace and communion through prayer to God that got him through. No, I am not saying that you can name your blessing a claim it like some claim, but God will help your spirit survive if you lean on him.
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14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.
There are a lot of people that seem to have plenty to grumble about, but what good does it do? Little if any at all. We all have issues, some of us could sell our life story to soap opera writers, I personally have grumbled more than my fair share, and I have had some decent reasons to grumble compared to many. Yet I have it better than a huge portion of the planet. I used to live in Turkey, a country that touches both Asia and Europe, with Muslim roots. There were people there who did not have access to hot water for a bath, shortages that kept them from being able to use their gas stoves. They actually had a huge population of people who had to dig through garbage to find anything that they could sell or eat. Dirty diapers did not detour them from digging through American trash cans! And we grumble!
All grumbling does is multiply and share our misery! It sucks the energy right out of the room! I have known people who grumble so much that they could make your dream vacation seem like a cancer diagnosis! Dwelling on whatever is bothering them makes them feel worse, and it certainly won’t help you.
When non-Christians see us grumble it makes the Christian life seem miserable, why would anyone want to be a Christian like you, if you are constantly grumbling?
Instead of grumbling try being grateful for what you do have, praying, and asking your pastor and other church members for advice and prayer. Looking for solutions will bring more satisfaction than grumbling ever will, and will make you a better witness for Christ.
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On many occasions I have heard stories from non-Christians talking about how they started building a relationship with a Christian, sometimes it is a person they work with, sometimes it is someone they knew in school…, but the moment the Christian found out they were non-Christians, the Christian started acting like talking to a non-Christian would kill them! This is incredibly rude, makes non-Christians believe we are liars when we say that we have a God of love, and chases them AWAY from Christianity! This is NOT how Christians are supposed to behave!We are supposed to be fishers of men. When you go fishing you actually have to go near or on the water, and offer the fish something that they want, in the case of fishing for fish it can be worms, shrimp, even bread balls have been known to work. The point is that the fish has to like what you are offering at the end of your hook. If you put something toxic at the end of your hook, they either will not bite at all, or your catch will be good for nothing.When you offer non-Christians fear and loathing, you will not catch anyone! You must offer them the genuine love of Christ. Be a friend, a real friend.