Do everything without complaining or arguing. (Phil. 2:14)

“stop whinging!” The first time I heard this expression was in the kitchen of a frustrated Australian friend. Her patience had been exhausted by a defiant young daughter who was screaming in protest about a request her mother had made.

Children need no education in how to whine or argue—that is, to whinge. It comes packaged with our fallen nature. And while parents might strive to correct this fault in their children, whinging is pervasive in adults as well.

Those who believe in Jesus Christ are called the children of God, and the church is the larger family. Challenges arise in every family, but for believers to grumble and argue is, in essence, to shove back against God himself. After all, everything in life comes to us filtered through His divine, permissive will. A complaining spirit lacks gratitude and fails to remember the good God has done for us. An argumentative spirit lacks a servant’s heart, which Jesus said is necessary if we wish to follow Him.

God’s children are to be His ambassadors to the world. A willing soul, grateful and quick to serve, is a bright beacon in a dark, self-centered society, and God is honored through that life. Whatever our frustrations, if we will commit to becoming generous, uncomplaining workers for God, we will one day be rewarded with those precious words: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Make today a day of fasting—abstain from all complaints and arguments.

Carol Chase and her husband spent many years circumnavigating the world by sailboat. She is retired and currently coordinates an e-mail prayer group from home.