One of the greatest purposes in life is to reflect Christ’s love, goodness, and grace to a world thirsty for hope and peace. Not only are believers a product of God’s mercy and grace, but they are vessels who introduce the presence of Christ through their words, responses, and actions.
The joy of living the Christian life understands that to follow Christ is not a lifestyle choice, but a life-changing condition of being a new creation. Only faith receives this new condition.
The original blueprint etched in our very being by God and formed in our mother’s womb is to be His witness to the world. We are a match for which the Holy Spirit strikes to be a flame. We are a bulb that God provides a power source to illuminate. We are an engine and Christ provides the fuel. Believers empowered by the Holy Spirit and enveloped by the presence of Christ, reflect the image of God and become what God designed us to be.
Living the Christian life is not about who I am, but who Christ is.
A Christian believer trusts God’s promises. Trust in God reflects His presence to the world. A lack of trust also reflects to the world and can tarnish the name of God.
The Bible says that grumbling, murmuring, or complaining is a sign of not trusting in God and is a first indication of turning away from the promises of Christ.[Source: “What is the first indication of turning away from God?” by Jerry Benjamin www.thebereancall.com]
Here is a good exercise:
Make a list of all thing things you have complained about in the past several weeks. Politics, sports, family, job, weather, current events, food prices, restaurant, neighbors, church. The list startlingly accumulates. Complaining is a favorite pastime that resonates with our human nature. When we truly examine the nature of grumbling, we see that it is a bitter fruit born from an untrusting and unthankful heart.
The Israelites were notorious grumblers and God disciplined them for their lack of trust (Numbers 14:27). Jesus cautioned his disciples to stop grumbling (John 6:43). The Apostle Paul encouraged all believers to do everything without grumbling (Phil. 2:14). God hears our grumbling and it causes him pain.
All good works pleasing to God come from a heart of thanksgiving. Faith acknowledges all that Christ has done for us and heart responds with joy. Hope, peace, and contentment are byproducts of a heart that fully trusts in God’s promises. Believers find true rest in God’s providence.
The act of complaining reveals a lack of trust. It is like telling God that life would be much better if we were in control. By murmuring about life, we take the focus off Christ and his promises and place them squarely on our circumstances.
The next time a complaint or a grumble starts to form on our lips, ask God to give us pause to answer this question, “Is our life about us or about Christ in us?” Our Christian identity is being God’s servant. A willing submission to God’s will and purpose for our lives is an identifying mark of faith.
Expressing joy in our circumstances is a proclamation that God’s grace is sufficient and an outward expression of our need of a Savior.
We Witness Well in this world by strenuously avoiding the desire to complain or murmur. Instead, we turn to Christ. By trusting in His promises, we become His light. We reflect His mercy and grace. By doing so, we separate ourselves from a dark world bent on complaining. People are drawn to a light that have a spirit of contentment, peace, and joy despite difficult circumstances. By doing so, we share the source of our Light — Jesus Christ.