Philippians 2:14,15—Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.
Harry is a phenomenal Command Sergeant Major. His dedication and his uncompromising zeal are inspiring. When I think of him I am reminded of Paul’s challenge to the Philippians in the passage above.
Harry instituted a weekly police call. Late every Wednesday afternoon, junior officers and noncommissioned officers working in the headquarters were expected to go out into the parking lot and pick up trash—especially cigarette butts! At first the senior leaders did not think he was serious and they did not send out their troops with bags. That did not last long when Harry made them pick up the trash and hand carry it to dumpsters. It only took one tongue thrashing from CSM Estabrooks to get a leader’s attention that he was committed. Because he leads by example, Harry turned negative attitudes into willing support. Our organization received lots of compliments from visiting leaders for the cleanliness of our area.
Harry insisted that every soldier exercise three times a week and held them accountable to show up for formation. Lots of grumbling followed this edict. Next came numerous excuses for people to skip working out. But Harry faithfully lifted weights and ran and demanded that our team improve their physical condition. Not surprisingly, our team won local running races and had more soldiers max their physical fitness test than any other unit on post.
People ask me, “How can I share my faith when I am not articulate and I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing?” Refrain from grumbling and arguing. Grumbling is a contagious disease. It was the very thing that caused God to exercise great wrath against the Israelites. Instead of trusting and obeying Him as He miraculously fed and cared for them, they turned grumbling into an art form (Numbers 11:1). A quick way to shine like a star and have opportunity to share why you are different through Christ is not to be someone who is negative.
The next time someone asks you to do something unpleasant or not on your “fun-to-do list,” before you complain, stop and remember who you serve. Jesus did not come to be the Lord of grumblers. He came to change us to be like Him, the humble King who undeservedly picked up the cross, took the whip, absorbed the scorn and hate, and died without a word of complaint. The reason we argue with God is because at heart we don’t trust Him. The reason we grumble is because we think our plan is better. The proof that our logic is faulty is the planet—look around at the world. What a perverted mess. Let’s change our attitude and praise God instead of murmuring—that’s a clear move towards purity.
We mutter and sputter; we fume and we spurt;
We mumble and grumble; our feelings get hurt.
We can’t understand things; our vision grows dim,
When all that we need is a moment with Him.—Mary Anderson
©2012 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)