Week 26 Saturday

No Complaints Allowed

Today’s scripture selection: Philippians 1-2

Key verses: Philippians 2:14-15

     The apostle Paul was gifted at balancing deep theologically profound teaching with down-to-earth practical counsel.

     A good example is his writing to the believers in Philippi.

     Smack dab in the middle of eloquent preaching about Christ’s humble life of servanthood and his sacrificial death on the cross for all…

     Paul puts in this little gem:

     “Do everything without grumbling or arguing….”

     Ouch.

     It’s one thing to wax eloquently about the crucifixion of Jesus – it’s quite another to hit me square between the eyes with a signpost reading “no complaints allowed.”

     They are two entirely different things – right?

     Or are they?

     Maybe, just maybe, at the heart of who God is – and who Christ is – and what Christianity is all about – is the simple, profound, true fact that we are called to be joyful in life, even in times of hardship and sacrifice.

     Maybe what “servant leadership” is all about is just getting the job done – getting our “kingdom work” done – free of complaint or a self-serving attitude.

     Maybe the only way we can really understand who God is – and who God wants us to be – is to get on with life – “no complaints allowed.”

     Sure, I am like most people.

     I get frustrated; I get tired; I can grump with the best of them.

     But at my best – at my kingdom best – I know living life as God calls me to live it isn’t just my duty – it’s my privilege.

     How about you?

 

Prayer: Lord, when my smile turns into a frown, and I feel most like complaining or arguing – touch me with your spirit and your grace – so that I don’t.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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