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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Dear Colleagues,

HOW NOT TO NUKE YOUR CHRISTIAN WITNESS IN A NEW YORK MINUTE

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The other morning I left my health club while it was still dark and raining. As I backed my car out of the parking space I heard a scraping, crunching sound. Gag. A utility truck had carelessly parked behind my car in a manner that I would hit him, simply by backing out of the parking space.

Later that day I learned the cost of repair would be about $700.00. A couple of hours later I decided to stop by the health club to inform them of the damage. I was cordial, and asked for no compensation. I – justwantedthemtoknowthatsomeoneontheir teamhadscrewedupAT – MY – EXPENSE!!

The moment I got back into my car, the Holy Spirit brought Philippians 2:14 to mind: Do everything without complaining or arguing.” In that instant, the sense of His presence and peace – which I had been enjoying throughout the day, evaporated. He, the Spirit, had been grieved. (Eph. 4:30) I bowed my head and said, “O Lord, forgive me. Forgive me.” Graciously, His presence returned. I prayed, “O Lord, help me to never complain again. About anything.”

Why is not complaining so important, anyway? Well, the passage goes on to explain:

“So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing” (Phil. 2:15, 16).

Translated means :

Blameless and pure, children of God without fault:” By being blameless and pure, we become a living example of authentic Christianity to our lost friends. Hey, everyone belly aches about stuff. So when they observe someone who doesn’t , it arrests their attention, “ What’s with this guy? What’s he got anyway?”

In a crooked and depraved generation in which you shine like stars in the universe : They already know they are twisted, and it grabs their attention when they see someone who is not.

As you hold out [offer] the word of life :” Authenticity can create a receptive, inquisitive environment for hearing the Truth.

The opposite of complaining is praising God. By so doing, I acknowledge the Father’s goodness and sovereignty. After all, isn’t it the pain and adversity of life that He uses to chisel us into His likeness…if we praise Him instead of complaining?

PRAYER :“Lord, deliver me from my arrogance, my sense of entitlement, and my insufferable impatience. Daily, remind me of Jesus’ condition for discipleship: ‘ If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself’ (Lk. 9:23a – Philips Trans.). I so desire to represent you in the marketplace. Help me to not nuke that privilege by complaining.’” (See Exo. 16:2–9; Num.14:27-20; Psa. 105:25; I Cor. 10:10; Jms. 5:9; Jude 1:16)

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

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