(If you haven’t already read the Missionary Boot Camp page for an explanation of what I’m talking about here, you might want to do so first).
Mom serves a dinner she knows the kids will not like. Ethan comes to the table and falls right into the trap…. “Mom.” (makes horrible face) “I’m not going to eat that.” He is immediately joined by Anna. “What is it? I don’t like chicken like that.”
New International Version (NIV)
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
verse 14 in New International Reader’s Version: Do everything without finding fault or arguing.
verse 14 in New Century Version: Do everything without complaining or arguing.
- Do you ever grumble, complain or find fault with things?
- What would be a situation that would make you want to grumble, complain or find fault?
- We each took a turn describing something that would make us feel this way.
- The Bible tells us not to whine when things aren’t the way we want them. Why? Because everyone does this. If we choose not to, we “shine” and people can see God in us.
- My parents taught me a valuable lesson when I was young. Anytime we were tempted to complain they would make us think of all the ways the situation could be worse. It works. Try it.
- We went through each of the previously discussed situations and help each other think of all the ways that situation, which was the worse thing we could think of at the time, could be worse.
- Doing this helps give us perspective and stay positive.
- We can help each other see things in a better way.
Here’s the point:
- The food in Poland is going to be different than what you’re used to. You’re going to look at it and want to make the same faces and comments you did tonight. But what would that say to the people we are ministering to? What if we complain about cleaning up the camp for them or not being able to understand their language? Choosing NOT to complain, grumble and find fault with everything will make us shine God’s love and joy. They will see in us something different… something they want in their lives.
This Week’s Challenge:
See if you can go an ENTIRE DAY without a single complaint or grumble. It’s a hard habit to break, so if you mess up try again the next day. If you hear complaining from someone else in the family, help them to see the ways it could be worse. Let’s keep each other positivity shiny!
(I admitted to the children that this last week has been really stressful and exhausting and I have certainly done my share of complaining and grumbling. I gave them permission to help me be more positive this week… so you might pray that God helps me respond well when they do that! This is a good lesson for all of us!” )