The truth is that I am not. He is correct. I am neither diligent, nor consistent. I like to think that I am because it paints this idealic picture of me that I favor over the alternative. I desire to be “The Everything Woman”. The truth is that I am just me, inconsistent and dirty.
Next, I happened to be talking to my husband one day about how I hate to go to the grocery store, and he said that he too has had to go to the grocery store, only he does not complain about it…again, shocking! He dared to tell me the truth…I am a whiner.
What kind of a man am I married to? The best kind. He only let’s me see who I really am; who I was created to be. That is who he loves and that is who the Father loves. I intentionally plant these kinds of people all over my life. The ones that will tell me the truth…biblical truth; people like my husband, my mentor, the leaders of my church and a few of my friends. These are the people that the Lord points me to when I need counsel, or just someone to straighten me out.
The “grocery store event”, was especially poignant because I was reading Philippians 2:14, 15 at the time, “Do all things without murmuring and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world”.
Yikes. I am a murmurer and an arguer. I used to get every pleasure in the world from taking any member of my family into an argument, indiscriminately. The point was not the point; it was whether you could get them to beg for mercy from the rhetorical onslaught. My husband is less tolerant of these whimsical delights. He doesn’t play…so, I don’t argue. Thank you, Jesus.
So, that leaves murmuring. What is the deal with murmuring? That is that highly gifted area in which someone, usually a loved one, is talking to you and you turn away. But you don’t end the conversation, do you? You continue to talk just loud enough so no one can understand what you are saying, or the silent killer…the “brain-roll”. I often do these, and sometimes much more, when my husband reveals truth to me. The brain-roll is a response that I lay before the Lord every morning and throughout the day. I have found that the only victory over this is claiming the Holy Spirit's power over my thoughts .
Arguing and murmuring, both are terribly attractive, right? Paul says very unattractive. These are not appropriate for someone who claims the identity of, and aspires to emulate our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Did Jesus murmur and argue? No way. If He had something to say, it was worth listening to and He said it to his target audience and no one else.
So, why does Paul tell us to do all things like this? Because, arguing and murmuring make us stand out in a crowd. It hurts us. When people see this in our homes or in public, they think that we are just as out of control as the rest of this world. We are no different from anyone else. BUT, Paul is hoping that we are different. He wants for us to shut our mouths so that we can be blameless and innocent; and yes, shutting the mouth does promote less arguing and murmuring. People will know that we are children of God because we can actually control ourselves better than a toddler. The formal name is impulse control.
Paul says that the world around us is crooked and perverse…just watch cable for a while if you need convincing. Your job, in the midst of all of that arguing, murmuring and perversity, is to shine like stars. That is so beautiful. We are not supposed to shine like self-righteous windbags, but like Christ…like stars. Stars are big and bright, and I probably would notice one in a grocery store.
Think about how you fit into this conversation. I have already told you where I am. I will give you a hint…if you are not shining at home, in those familial relationships then there is a really small chance that you are actually shining in the world. Proverbs tell us that our home is the practice run for living outside the front door. If you aren’t willing to make it happen with people that you love, then you will not make it happen past your lawn. Our homes deserve our best, let’s commit to that.
Lord, teach us today and everyday to shine like you in our homes and in our community. Give us your Spirit to conquer the murmurs and the arguing that quench your light.