Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. Philippians 2: 14 – 15
In writing these devotionals, I often feel as if God’s hand is on mine, giving me the words to write for those who might need them, and often, that someone is ME. Today’s message is definitely one of those times.
Don’t we all know those individuals who always appear to be so positive, upbeat, content, and happy? They are always so pleasant to be around and such a joy to talk to. They never complain, or whine, or seem testy or in a bad mood, and they just lift our spirits with their laughter and demeanor! We actually even feel better after being in their presence. They “shine like stars in the universe” in stark contrast to so many around us, and I am constantly striving to be more like them!
Kindness seems to be on the decline and so many people seem so stressed, edgy, snappy, ill-tempered, and sometimes downright rude these days! It seems as if it has become more acceptable to argue and even belittle people who might feel differently than we do. Their attitude seems to be one of “I’m not satisfied or happy with how life is going and I don’t want you to be either!”
Yet, God desires for us to be different than those who are always complaining and arguing and making others around them miserable. We are called to be “set apart” from those of the world. We are to show this “crooked and depraved generation” that we as children of God are good human beings – not perfect, but forgiven beings of God trying to be the best we can be.
We are called to be encouraging, positive, affirming, loving, and trusting individuals. God wants us to do everything willingly and cheerfully and show others what a life filled with His love and grace can be. We are to put our grumbling and arguing aside and be pleasing, calm, and kind to each other. We are encouraged to live our lives in such a way that others will have no reason to blame us or fault us, and no evil can be found within us. We are to be pure in heart and gentle in spirit. We are to harbor no ill-will towards others, provoke no conflicts, or engage in hurtful conversations. But we are to be individuals of loving deeds, showing a life of integrity and respect to others.
This is to be our life as a Christian – one that shines through to pierce the darkness of this world. We need to shine so that others can see the good works we do in His Name. May we be “His shining stars in the universe.”
Our most kind and gracious Father, thank you for the gift of your presence in our lives. Thank you that you can fill the void of hopelessness and despair. May we use our blessings to bless those around us, and help us to be better witnesses to your love and grace. Amen