Day 5 –Work without complaining – Philippians 2:14-18
When Paul taught the Philippians to do all things without grumbling, he meant all things, including work. The reason he gives is powerful. If a believer complains or grumbles, they destroy their witness by surrendering their innocence and demonstrating their offenses worthy of blame. These strong accusations by the Apostle raise the question, “How does complaining about work put the blame on the complainer and surrender innocence?” It is all a matter of faith. In verses 12-13, Paul shows how the Spirit of God is working within the life of a believer. God is sovereignly ruling over His Kingdom. Believers are Kingdom citizens. As we have already considered in the study material for this week, work is a privilege and there are three good reasons why we should be faithful in our work. The fourth here is because it protects our testimony.
Someone coined the phrase, “attitude is everything.” While that may be an oversimplification of many issues of life, there is a lesson to be learned from the cliché. If it is not everything, it is certainly significant. If the worker has a thankful attitude accepting their vocation as a gift from God it changes many perceptions. If in that thankfulness the worker finds joy, he is a testimony of thankfulness to his co-workers and others that may observe his attitude. At that time, he can then be well prepared to give an account for the joy of the Lord’s salvation that rests in his heart. Not only will his witness to his co-workers be secured, his attitude will be contagious and his entire workplace is likely to become more productive.
The root of a complaining heart is pride. When a person complains about their job, they are actually communicating that the expectations placed upon them are below their social status and consequently demeaning. In light of the earlier verses of this chapter, that attitude is rather amusing. After all, it was Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who took on the lowliest of all jobs in order to bring salvation to men. The King who knew no sin became sin and was humiliated on the cross. There was not a hint of complaining on his lips. He knew who he was and what he had come to do. There was no need to complain. This discussion has led to a rather remarkable conclusion. The reason Jesus did not complain is because he knew who he was.
Reflecting on the consideration of work through this week’s study should cause us to examine our attitude toward our work. Are we doing it for the glory of God? Do we find fulfillment in providing for our families, having something to give to the one in need, having something to give to the Lord, and in working without complaint? If not, we have an identity problem. If these attitudes toward work are not a present reality, then our lives are self-centered rather than God-centered. We are not faithful. We are missing the mark and not in line to receive the reward. The solutions are found in prayer, meditation, and personal worship of the living God. In regards to prayer, begin today by thanking God for your place of vocation. If you are retired, thank him for the financial provision you do enjoy. In all things give thanks. Meditate on the privileges you share and how God has provided those privileges. Finally, sing a song of praise. I am thinking of this one: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. AAAAMen.”