Then You Will Shine
Read Philippians 2:12–18
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, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
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. 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. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
What will allow us to shine the light of Christ in this world? Paul says: doing everything without grumbling or arguing. Imagine driving or grocery shopping or working or posting on social media or attending a meeting without grumbling or arguing! Is that possible? You can probably think of many people who grumble or argue all the time. And you can probably think of far fewer people who rarely grumble or argue. How do we become those people—the ones who seem at peace, unflappable, unhurried, and patient? First, we continue to open ourselves to God’s transformation of the parts of us that feel entitled, discontent, or selfish. Second, we practice not grumbling or arguing when given the opportunity. In this way, we are working out our salvation and shining our light in the world.
- Reflect on the last time you were grumbly or argumentative. What was underlying your grumbling or arguments? What expectation was missed or desire went unmet?
- What parts of you do you long for God to transform or change? What attitudes or behaviors do you think prevent your life from shining a light in the world?
- What invitation do you sense God extending to you when it comes to your grumbling or arguing?
God, give me eyes to see the world through Your eyes. Give me ears to hear where You’re leading me. And may I be a light in this dark world today. Amen.