Non-Christians ask questions about God and reality all the time. But when Christians functionally doubt God’s word, in a way, we too question God. If we do this in front of our children, then we pass doubt about God’s reality on to our children.
Next question, how does this happen? One way it happens is when we doubt God’s commands. For example, Paul gives the Philippians a clear straightforward command:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation…” Philippians 2:14-15
Sounds easy enough – do everything without grumbling or arguing. Parents tell their children they should not argue or complain because the Bible says so. The children continue to argue and grumble. Eventually the parents may settle on a “compromise” and just address the arguing and grumbling that they consider to be excessive.
Then there is the matter of the parents’ arguing and grumbling. Parents may choose to label their own complaining, argumentative spirit as justifiable considering the situation they are in at the moment. Sometimes parents may even grumble about their grumbling children. And of course, it always seems appropriate to argue about important things or to grumble about one’s work situation or the government.
This all seems just a part of normal life. “At least we don’t argue as much as most people do.” But here is the problem. Philippians does not make allowances for any of the above circumstances to justify arguing and grumbling. Paul clearly says do everything without arguing or grumbling.
If God is real, If he is the Lord of earth and heaven, If he is the most powerful and most loving all beings, If he is worthy of all our praise, then it would seem only consistent that a simple command that he gives would be obeyed.
Ignoring or being inconsistent about the way God’s commands are obeyed draws into question for others whether or not he is as real as we say he is. This message is not lost on your children. It is not lost on your relatives or coworkers.
I am not saying that we can totally eliminate all grumbling or arguing. But we should never be complacent about openly defying God’s commands. Praise God that even our own grumbling can be forgiven.
However, brothers and sisters, if God is real, perhaps it is time we started acting like we believe it with all of our hearts. Something to ponder.