Q. While reading Philippians 2:14-16, this verse says we are to do everything without complaining. Other versions use arguing, disputing, and grumbling. My question about this verse is: Is Paul saying that we must do everything without complaining or arguing so that we can be blameless and children of light while living in a warped and crooked generation? How do you interpret this verse?
A. If you take all of Phil. 2:1-18 together you’ll see that Paul was teaching us to imitate Jesus in our daily lives. Jesus is God in human form, but while He was on Earth He became like a humble servant, obedient to His Father in every way (Phil 2:5-8).
In Colossians 3:23 Paul said whatever we do, we should work at it with all our heart, as working for the Lord not for men, since we know we will receive an inheritance from the Lord. Therefore it is the Lord we are serving. Christians have been guaranteed so much in the future that nothing in the present should have an adverse effect on our attitude.
It’s important to understand that by doing this we’re not trying to become blameless and pure in God’s eyes. He already sees us that way (2 Cor. 5:17). We do this to appear blameless and pure to our crooked and depraved generation, as a demonstration of God’s love. It was another way of saying we should live up to what we’ve already attained, which Paul said in Phil. 3:16.