If you look up this weeks biblical passage that is the focus of the sermon, you will see that it is entitled as “Do Everything Without Grumbling” in the NIV translation. This title is from verse fourteen, and someone, at some point in history, has used this phrase to give this passage to this title.
Think about the word ‘everything’ for a moment. It can be so easy to read a passage, think, “Thanks God, that sounds good,” and then go about your day. When I think about the number of times I complained this week alone… I don’t think that I can remember them all.
The thing is, I can’t think of anything that I really had to complain about. Sure, things weren’t perfect and there were some stressful moments. And I’m not saying that no circumstance can impact you. But a few weeks from now, I’m not even going to remember what made me grumble.
Having emotions when something unexpected or negative happens is understandable, normal and human. But we can still choose our response to it. Do we grumble, letting ourselves focus on the negative. Letting frustration have control over our thoughts and actions. Or, do we acknowledge the way we feel and why, but try to see the big picture?
There is a lot of good in my life. I often say that most people could tell the story of their life as a comedy or a tragedy, it just depends on the lens they focus through. So much of life is out of our control, it’s circumstances we find ourselves in because of other peoples’ choices. We have so little control over anything. What we can choose is our actions and responses to world around us.
Next time that something happens that makes me feel irritated, frustrated or befuddled (it will probably happen today, if I’m honest), I’m going to try to choose something better. To acknowledge how I feel and why, but to then choose to make the best of whatever circumstance I find myself in. I’m going to try to grumble less and instead focus on the good in my life, and how maybe this seemingly negative circumstance could be used for good somehow.