Posted by: Mark | May 12, 2010

Grumbling and Complaining

Do all things without complaining and disputing Philippians 2.14

Currently in my quite times I am using a study book by John MacArthur that takes me through the book of Philippians. This last few days I have been looking at Philippians 2.14-16. I have been particularly challenged by verse 14. John MacArthur says the following in the book:

Every circumstance of life is to be accepted willingly and joyfully, without murmuring, complaint, or disappointment, much less resentment. There is no exception. There should never be either emotional grumbling or intellectual disputing. It is always sinful for believers to complain about anything the Lord calls them to do or about any circumstance which He sovereignly allows. Whether the task is difficult or easy, whether the situation involves a blessing or a trial, negative attitudes are forbidden. As he testifies later in this letter, Paul’s own spiritual growth had led him to enjoy this attitude: “I have learned in whatever stat I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Phil. 4.11-12 NKJV). His example shows that such righteous behavior is possible.

Before this he also asked the question – How does one replace the habit of doubt and grumbling with a habit of dependence and gratitude? As I thought about this question and later reflected on what John MacArthur said above the effect of verse 14 started to hit me. We are called as Christians to go through life without complaining and grumbling to God. How is that possible? Then the marble dropped for me.

I asked myself the questions. Do I believe that God is all powerful? Yes I do. Do I believe that God is control? Yes I do. Do I believe that when God said He works all things together for good for those who are His, that He meant it? Yes I do. Do I have a healthy human realization that God knows so much more than me? Yes I do. So why is this so hard to swallow. God knows what He is doing and I basically don’t have a clue. If God sees things in 3D I don’t even fully comprehend 1 dimension. The ability to live without complaining starts with a cerebral acceptance of who God is and a healthy dose of trust in the God I get to know.

I am certainly not saying that I am there but this further grounds my thinking that the life that we have to live as a Christian is most successful when we struggle constantly to better understand the God we serve as a Christian.



  1. Our womens bible study group have just finished Philippian s and I have loved it…. “The Joy of Living “by J.Dwight Pentecost by kregal Publications as an excellent book if u can get hold of a copy.

  2. Led to your post from YouVersion. Really enjoyed your thoughts. GOD bless.

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