Becoming is a Journey

From the back of the car, three kids sang with megaphone voices. 

“Do everything without complaining, do everything without arguing, so that you will become blameless and pure, children of God.” 

Ah yes, I loved teaching my children Scripture songs because they needed them so much. 

Blonde heads swayed right and left along with the rhythm of the children’s song. Little bodies jerked to the beat, bang against the seat belts, splat against the seat. Cornfields, green and tall surrounded our view front, back and side like the Atlantic Ocean we’d flown over, as far as the eye could see.

From Italy to Iowa. 

Or was it Indiana? 

No, I do believe it could have been Illinois. 

We were in smack dab in the middle of Home Ministry Assignment. 

“Where do you live?” the sweet older gentleman asked my six-year-old. 

“In the car,” she answered. 

In three months we drove across the USA telling churches, gatherings and anyone who would listen about life and ministry overseas. Our kids ate food foreign to them, slept in different beds, and met more people than many meet in a lifetime. We shared our lives, hearts, laundry and the flu. 

“Do everything without complaining, do everything without arguing,” they sang. 

Phil and I sang along. We grinned at each other sideways, a parental understanding passed between us. 

But we still had miles to go, fights to be fought. 

“so that you will become blameless and pure, children of God.” 

Their voices reached pinnacles as high as the tower of Pisa.

“Without complaining without arguing, do…do EVERYTHING.”

What a great verse for these kids, I thought, satisfied and pleased at the quiet ending. 

And then it began.

“She touched me.”

The road stretched ahead like the grumbling Israelites’ 40 year walk around the desert. It would have been a great song for the Israelites. 

“She looked at me.”

I pursed my lips.  


I was a tired missionary desiring to appear saintly by the estimated arrival time at the next church about 20 minutes away.  

“Do all things without complaining and disputing…” Paul apparently thought it was a good verse for all of us. (Philippians 2:14 NKJV).

And he was right. 

“without complaining” Goggysmos. The Greek word sounds like what it means. Muttering, complaining, grumbling. MacArthur calls it “an emotional rejection of God’s providence, will, and circumstances for one’s life.” 

The backseat filled with goggysmos commotion about to drive me around my own goggysmos bend. 

But in the original text, the word is not just external but internal as well. A secret debate, a secret displeasure. Like the internal conversation in my mind only God hears. 

without disputing” Dialogismos is much like our English word “dialogue.” It’s inward reasoning, an internal debate, questioning, perhaps even criticizing God. 

The book of James says the tongue is a world of evil, humanly untamable, and full of deadly poison. Proverbs 18:21 teaches that death and life are in the power of the tongue, and Ephesians 4:29 commands the believer to not allow corrupt communication out of your mouth. 

The situation behind me slid down a slippery slope. Front seat adult-land was heading in the same direction. We were all tired. Being good can be exhausting. 

It’s a baby step from spewing what’s inside outside. 

“So that you may become blameless and pure…”

Becoming is a process. Growth for the believer never stops. It’s a vital part of spreading the gospel in every place God plants my feet. 

“… children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…” Phil. 2:15 (NKJV).

As our crooked and perverse generation becomes more and more crooked and perverse, becoming more and more like Christ in our speech, thoughts and actions contrasts radically. We shine bright in a very dark world. Living outwardly Christ’s transformation within us testifies of His power to grow us to be more like Him.  

I need to get that goggysmos sounding dialogismos that’s happening inside snipped in the bud if I want to demonstrate Christ’s character to the world. 

Today I find myself humming the melody of a children’s song from years ago, grateful for the renewed whisper of the Spirit convicting me of these truths. It reminds me there is hope in the process of becoming.   

(Taken from my previous post Become is a Process)


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16 Replies

  1. PS Reply


  2. J.D. Wininger Reply

    While I’m confident in saying I’m not the only husband who “Complies with muttering”; I may be the among a select few who admit to it. Oh, our wives know, but I suspect some of y’all do the same thing to us. 🙂 I love the encouragement of this post Ms. Sylvia. We need to focus less on who we are, and more on who we are becoming! I love that thought today. Think-Believe-Become God’s blessings my friend.

  3. Nancy E. Head Reply

    A good word for me this day. Challenges come to us in various ways. Our tendency is to mutter or fall over the edge into anger. And I remember the days when my own young ones sat in the back and bickered. May we all become blameless and pure.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Nancy. Certainly challenges have matured along side me!!

  4. Katherine Pasour Reply

    What adventures you family has had! Lots of good memories. I’m so thankful that our loving Father continues to guide us on our “journey of become.” Thank you for sharing this inspiring and hopeful message.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Katherine, I am also grateful He continues to guide in this journey. Thanks so much for reading and responding!

  5. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Thank you for reminding us that we need to watch internal thoughts as well as spoken ones, Sylvia. You also reassured us that we’re still “becoming” as God teaches us. Excellent words and entertaining story.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Jeannie! It’s those internal ones that I really desire to be conformed to Him.

  6. Kathy Reply

    Lots to smile at and a good lesson in your post, Sylvia! Thank you! As a pastor’s wife, I always felt bad for missionary families as they traveled on deputation when what they really may have needed was rest!!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Kathy, thanks so much for your response. Pastor’s wives were always an understanding bunch! I’m glad you were in that lot!

  7. Joanna Eccles Reply

    Thanks for examining the Greek words for grumbling and complaining. The one sounds so awful, it makes me not want to complain.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Joanna, I enjoy finding some of the root meanings of our English translations. Now if I could only actually never grumble again!!

  8. Carolyn Reply

    Wow! That took me back to when my kids were little and that song would ring through our home. Only the grace of God.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Only the grace of God, yes! After I wrote it the song kept going around in my head. Effective!