Shine Like Stars
“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 as you hold out the word of life…” (Philippians 2:14-16)
The Christian walk is not a “bed of roses” as many religious people try to make us believe. As someone recently told me, “every bed of roses has its thorns.”
How we live before others makes a world of difference in how they perceive God. Paul understood the need for consistency in these brethren as he penned these words. He taught them to remember that others were watching and listening to them to find God.
There is a lot of confusion as to what the Christian walk really is. Some people think it is being “super religious.” There were many among the Jews who were “super religious.” They really didn’t know God nor did they follow Him with all their hearts. But they did follow all of the religious rituals and as many of the religious practices that was convenient to them. Were they good examples of people who had given their heart to God? Not hardly! How many times do we see Jesus rebuking these people for their outward appearances. Once He told them they were like white washed tombs. They looked good on the outside but were full of decay and corruption on the inside.
The Christian walk is not being a “religious fanatic.” Fanaticism is repulsive to people. Your faith, no matter how real or unreal it is, will be rejected. People are not drawn to those who are extremist.
Note here in this text that Paul centers on the simple. We are to be ourselves. We should not try to hide the fact that we are weak. We must recognize that in our weakness God is made strong. “Do every thing without complaining or arguing…” Simply put, Paul tells them that the way they deal with differences makes all the difference in the world in how others perceive God. A “shining light” in this text is one who graciously takes the differences he or she recognizes and graciously deals with them.
One grumbler in the church can destroy the work it took years to build. He can excite others who may have never thought of a reason to complain. He can multiply himself so quickly that a great number will become disgruntled, argumentive and complain. It can become like the situation in Acts 19:32, “The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there.”
It is also interesting to note that Paul delivers the sense of fault to one who grumbles or argues. He lumps them together with the crooked and depraved. These are harsh words. Could it be that God sees us that way when we grumble?
Instead of a grumbler, God wants us to be a beacon of light. When something is done a different way than is my preference, I should be gracious and understand that everyone else involved is trying to serve the Lord just like me.
Remember that there are those who chart their course on the sea of life by looking to the stars.