Do you know that feeling you get when your boss asks you to do more than what your job requires? Often times, our first reaction may be annoyance. Or what about when you are stuck in a job you hate? It’s easy to focus on the moment and make yourself miserable. Sometimes you might respond with a bad attitude or complain about the work even though you know that isn’t how you should respond. But how exactly should you respond?
Persevering for God’s Glory
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 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… — Philippians 2:14-16
The word “grumbling” is a secret displeasure, and “disputing” is arguing with others. This means the verse is talking about when we argue or complain to someone else as well as when we are able to hold our tongue but are complaining to ourselves.
Paul’s letter to the Philippians doesn’t say, “Only do the things you like without grumbling or disputing.” It says, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” All things. This is an all inclusive statement that means everything. We should not grumble about anything at all.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13 talks about the Israelites as an example of what happens when we disobey God’s commandments. Paul lists 4 actions we shouldn’t do: idolatry, sexual immorality, testing Christ, and grumbling. Did you catch that? Grumbling is in a list along with acts like sexual immorality, and those who grumbled were destroyed. God’s Word shows us just how important it is that we don’t grumble any more than be sexually immoral or worship idols.
Why should we live like this? To prove ourselves “to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach.” As Christians, we must strive to obey God’s Word so that we can live as a bright light in this dark world. The way we live our lives is our witness to other people, believers and unbelievers. If we claim to know God and then respond badly in a situation, we are shining a bad light on who God is. However, if we respond rightly, we will shine God’s character to others as a witness to who He is.
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. — 1 Corinthians 10:31
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes that we must do everything for the glory of God. Yes, that includes doing your mundane job with joy instead of grumbling. You can give thanks to God for having a job instead of complaining about how bored you are at work. You can work hard using the talents God has given you even if your boss doesn’t expect it or you won’t get a pay raise. You can glorify God in your job by obeying His Word and doing all for Him.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. — Colossians 3:23-24
Again, Paul writes in Colossians about working for God without complaining. We are to do all work “heartily,” which means “from the soul.” Do your work with everything you have, as if you are working for the Lord instead of men. That means when your boss comes to you asking for you to do more work without any material benefit, you should continue to do your job as if you are serving Christ. This means you do the work without arguing or complaining so that you can glorify God through your actions.
If the Bible says something more than once, we should pay attention. Paul wrote to three different churches and told them to work without complaining for the glory of God. As Christians, everything we say and do reflects back on God. Our actions may be the only thing someone sees from us, and it is enough to show them Christ and turn them towards Him or away from Him.
Remember, it’s all for God’s glory, and the way we respond to an annoying boss or a job we hate can bring God glory. Our workplace is just one of many places that we can persevere and bring Him glory.
In what areas of your life can you start persevering for God’s glory? What can you do to “do all things without grumbling and disputing”? How can you “do your work heartily” and “do all to the glory of God”?
Your sister in Christ,