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Dear Faith Family, 

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, (Philippians 2:14). 

Married to Maw, Paw Ruggs had a complete family of four.  Daughter: Floral.  Son: Shag.  Their lives met with continuous adversity.  If they “wasn’t” “feudin” with the Hoppers next door, they were at war with an indigenous woodpecker or an antagonistic catfish or an escape chimpanzee or a hungry gopher or a pesky beaver. ( You get the picture. If not you might be able to find some old episodes of “The Hillbilly Bears” online. 

What caught my attention was Paw’s constant mumbling.  Often, if not always, outwitted by his adversity, Paw would grumble.  Let’s face it, he didn’t like what was happening to him. 

Anybody else?  Not like what’s happening to you?  I think our natural tendency (default mode) is to complain when things aren’t what we’d like them to be.  Maybe we’re tired of hearing about covid (or having covid!).  Maybe we aren’t happy with our boss or our employees.  Maybe our parents aren’t living up to our expectations or our children aren’t fulfilling our expectations.  Maybe the price of gas is too high.  Maybe we’re disappointed that it didn’t snow.  Or, maybe we’re frustrated because it did snow.  Dare I even mention the word “politics”? 

Into such adversity, Paul (Did I tell you that he wrote these words while he was in prison?) had the audacity to command that we do all things without grumbling.  So, why not?   

Because God is sovereign over our lives.  He is sovereign over what is happening to us.  Do we really believe that is sovereign (over us)?  Grumbling appears to deny His sovereignty.  Hear me out.  This isn’t an invitation for us to sit on our hands and do nothing.  It is not an invitation to silence our prayer lives.  No.  We are called to work on.  And, we are called to let our requests be made known to our God (actually in the very next chapter of Philippians). 

Grumbling raises doubt about the sovereignty of our God.  And grumbling invites conflict, especially internal conflict, “disputing”.  Consider how grumbling affects the heart attitude.  One more reason not to grumble?  Grumbling dims our light in this increasingly dark world.   

Pastor Karl