SOAP = scripture, observation, application, and prayer.
S : Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Philippians 2:14-16 ESV)
O : Surely Paul didn’t mean “all” things right? That must be a misprint or bad translation! Unfortunately I have tried about every version of the bible that Youversion offers and they all say either “all things” or “in everything”. Things just got real! Let’s be honest we live in a culture where grumbling and disputing are second nature to us. Heck, most of the time it’s encouraged by those around us. But if we are going to believe in all of the beneficial scriptures about love, grace, and salvation then we have to believe in the scriptures like this as well. All or nothing baby! We don’t get the freedom to create our own meology from bible by picking and choosing the scriptures we want to follow and the ones we don’t want to follow.
In the middle of what Paul calls a “crooked and twisted” culture being abstinent from grumbling and disputing is a great way to set yourself apart. It’s easy to speak negative words in a negative world but it takes an individual who has come face to face with a life-changing love to speak positive words in negative world. This is accomplished by holding fast to the gospel and what it means for your life. Though you may be persecuted now……your reward is eternal.
A : Paul is adamant about not complaining because he believes that if a Christian is seen or heard grumbling and disputing it can take away from the works they have done, whether that work be by personal testimony, teaching, discipleship, etc. It is the classic one step forward and two steps back scenario. Make a decision today to not complain, to not speak negatively no matter what the situation is or who it involves. Speak life!
P : God help me be incredibly optimistic today. Help me take a step back and see that you are working for my good in “all things” instead of being negative toward most things. I want to do this because your Word directs it and I don’t want to see the seeds I have sewn by sharing your gospel wasted because of my bad attitude! Thank you for your blessings! Amen.