Written by Stacey Weeks
We have a friend who defines proper obedience to his kids like this. He says, “Obedience is all the way, right away, without delay.” I love that definition. It’s not only how our children should obey us; it is also how we should obey the Word of God.
In Philippians 2:14-15, Paul gives the believers a command that he expects them to obey.
Do all things without complaining or arguments; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, … ”
We are to do all things without complaining. I did a quick search on the word all, and you’ll be happy to know that it still means all. Do all things. Everything. Without complaining. I don’t know what ‘things’ occupy your day, but mine is pretty packed.
- We homeschool our kids.
- I oversee house cleaning, cooking, and shopping.
- I’m married, so I’m a helpmate to my spouse.
- I’m a student, so I’m trying to complete school assignments.
- I do freelance work, so I have contracts to fulfill.
- We are also a ministry family.
Your list might hold different things than mine, and that’s okay. Whatever things are on your list, Paul says to do all of them without complaining or arguments. But Paul doesn’t know my daughter just spilled hot tea on her brand-new MacBook and ruined it, and she had to use mine until we could replace it. Paul doesn’t know about the extenuating circumstances in your life that make it feel impossible to complete these things with a good attitude, yet that is what he calls us to do “so we can prove ourselves to be blameless and innocent children, above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, to shine like lights”.
We cannot, on our strength alone, shine like lights in a dark world. On my strength, I’m frustrated with my daughter. But God never gives us a list of things to do and says good luck. No. This call to holiness is one of the great and reoccurring themes in Scripture. God calls us to holiness and then, through the power of his Spirit, gives us everything we need to obey the command. We do this on His strength. Everything we do, even the salvation that restores our broken relationship with God, is based on the fact that God is at work in us.
So, yes, do all things without complaining or arguments. Do them all the way, right away, and without delay. Obey like that, and you will shine like lights in this crooked and perverse generation.