Almost perfect

Philippians 2:12-18

Trying to live perfectly is not a sustainable practice. If it’s impossible for us, it’d be exhausting to try to make it happen. I find it more helpful to emphasize our pursuit of holiness instead. That centers our focus on the holiness of God.

It also helps me see that just because I’m not perfect today, doesn’t mean I’m not better than I thought I could be. Is not being as angry or impatient today as I used to be not a win?

It is.

And I want to offer another practice that goes a long way in our pursuit of holiness. Philippians 2:14 says to “do all things without murmuring and arguing.” Imagine that! Doing everything without complaining about someone else or joining in frivolous hostility.

Think of what we could accomplish. Consider the healing we could nurture and share. 

I have yet to meet a pastor or church leader who didn’t have an abundant supply of murmur stories. We all know what it is to listen to petty argument after argument disguised as helpful feedback. 

The results? 

Well, I know several eager and faithful leaders who decided it was too much. They went somewhere else. More and more, we’re hearing about pastors themselves who have left ministry. The back bighting and infighting was insufferable.

So, let’s note how our murmuring and complaining impacts others and the ministry we say we care about. But also notice more of what the verse from Philippians says. Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent. 

There’s a personal toll to murmuring and complaining, too. It takes us away from the image of God within us. It clouds our perception of others and it steals our joy of life.

Now, I’m not sure the apostle Paul was talking about living a perfect life. In his encouragement to not murmur or argue, though, he did use words like blameless, innocent and without blemish. And that is close enough for me!

Stay blessed…john

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