BY: Zach Warrick
BIBLE TEXT: Philippians 2:14-16: “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Contrary to what the Mayan calendar predicted, earth made it safely into 2013. Now, with nearly a month under our belt, it is time to reflect on that venerable tradition of each new year: New Year’s Resolutions. Gym memberships will skyrocket, as will my guilt as days pass where not a sit-up is sat by myself. I have never, I must confess, had much success with resolutions. I lack the discipline to maintain any sort of mental or physical goal much past January 3rd. So this year, I don’t think I’m going to ‘resolve’ anything. Instead I want to commit myself to a goal Paul talks about in Philippians chapter two.
Paul talks about how, as followers of Christ, we are to do everything “without grumbling or arguing.” Every time I read this passage, I am forced to stop and consider what it would look like to live out a grumble-less lifestyle, even for a week. Imagine what our workplaces, classrooms, and dinner tables would look like if we took Paul’s words to the Philippians to heart? Maintaining this kind of command requires far more than a simple resolution, it requires a total heart change. My spirit must be constantly aligned with the Holy Spirit.
Paul goes on to write that if we live free of personal grumbling and interpersonal arguments we will become “blameless and pure… children of God.” We will begin to stand out wherever we go, “shining like stars.” There is something beautiful in Paul’s words. We, as Christians, do not merely blend in to the crooked world around us but stand out as we live lifestyles reflecting Christ. So I am going to skip the resolutions this New Year. Instead I hope to carry this life-giving and light-giving message with me, showing the world in my words and actions the power of my God and his commands.
PRAYER: Lord, may we live in ways that reflect your will and your power. Help us, in everything we do, to live free of complaints and arguments. In these ways, teach us to show the world a little of your presence every day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zach Warrick is the pastoral assistant at Life Assembly as well as a junior at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. He loves writing and watching cartoons with his brother among other things.