” Do all things without murmurings and disputings:.”
Now here is a real challenge for you. I imagine many of you would tell me that you don’t murmur or dispute. I said the same thing when I looked at this verse. But then I started to study this and look at the Greek definition for these two words and I realize that there have been times I have been guilty of both of these things. As you read through this, see if this verse applies to you as it does to me.
Do all things without murmuring or disputings. The fact that Paul says do all things tells me that we shouldn’t ever murmur or dispute. There is not a place for these two things in the church. I would take it a step further and say that there is never a place for this in the workplace, there is never a place for this in your family, there is really never a place for this anywhere. We are supposed to do all things with love in our hearts and when we have love we will not murmur or dispute.
The Greek word for murmurings is Goggusmos and it means a secret debate or a secret displeasure not openly avowed. So that tells me it’s a lot like backbiting and gossip where we talk behind somebody’s back and try to keep it quiet. This particular word is used four times in the King James version the first is in John 7:12 where the people are murmuring about Jesus. The next uses in Acts 6:1 where the Greek widows were being neglected in the daily chores of the disciples and the Greeks were murmuring about that. This reference in Philippians is third usage. And the last is in 1 Peter 4:9 where the word is translated grudging instead of murmurings.
The word disputing is the Greek word dialogismos, and it means deliberating or questioning about what is true. It denotes hesitation or doubting or arguing about the truth. It is also translated as imagination and thought and doubtful in other places in the New Testament.
I the first word causes the most problems. Have you ever caught yourself talking to your spouse at home how about some member of the congregation that did this I did that and you didn’t really appreciate it? Or have you ever “had the pastor for lunch”? Have you ever questioned whether the offerings are used as it supposed to be used? Do you have a problem with the songs that are picked out for worship service and you voice your opinion to a friend? All of these things fall under the umbrella of murmurings.
One of the things Jesus was very specific about is that if we have something against a brother or sister we should go to a brother or sister and tell them. It never does anyone any good to talk about a matter with a person who can’t do anything about it. Now I know it helps us to let off steam and often we feel good once we get it off our chest, but now we have involved somebody else and they feel bad about it too. If we would learn to just go to the person we have a problem with and lovingly talk to them things would be so much better.
Paul’s desire was to seek peace within the walls of the church. He knew that murmuring and disputing would destroy that peace faster than anything. That has not changed today. Let’s make sure that we are not guilty of either of these things whether it’s inside the church or outside the church. Let us speak the truth in love and keep this kind of talk off of our lips.
Lord, I have been guilty of both of these things in the past. Please forgive me, and help me to never have these kind of thoughts, or speak these unkind words again. Help me have the courage to talk to anyone who I might be tempted to murmur or dispute about.