What does the word arguing mean in Philippians 2:14?
In contrast with grumbling, arguing (sometimes translated as “disputing”) is open and overt verbal contention, arguments, and sharp exchanges. Disputes are rooted in pride and a divisive spirit. They lack Christian civility and respect. Arguing involves verbal assault and verbal hitting below the belt. Apparently, believers in Philippi were engaged in fighting with one another on a regular basis and they were hurting the life and public testimony of the church. Some of these men and women, who were in eternal relationship with God through faith in Christ, were argumentative and contentious. There is no place for this behavior among the people of God. The force of the imperative is literally to stop an action already in progress. God commands His people to stop the complaining and the disputing. In a world that no longer knows how to engage in civil and respectful discourse, the church should be an example of how to use God’s gift of language in a redemptive way.