Once a quarter, I will be posting original content from I Was Just Thinking…’s creator, Rev. Dr. Billy Hutchinson. I called him dad. These posts are known as “IWJT Throwbacks”.

I am not sure when this particular article was originally published, but it was included in his “I Was Just Thinking… 2007” compilation book which I am now redoing into an eBook for its 3rd Edition. You can pre-order it here.

For this article, I have done some light editing and reformatting, but my dad’s content is largely intact in its original form. I hope you enjoy this article, consider pre-ordering the eBook, and as always – thank you for reading.


These past few weeks have found me in many different places. Always when traveling, I seem to end up in retail operations – restaurants, motels and varied service-oriented businesses. 

Being somewhat of a “people watcher”, I hear lots of conversations among employees of the different businesses. 

While “listening” when not trying to, I was reminded this week of the words of Paul in his letter to the Philippians, chapter 2, verses 13 – 16. 

Do everything without complaining or arguing, 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.”

While shopping, I watched as two employees argued about which one was going to do a certain job and it all happened in front of about six shopping consumers. 

As the shoppers became uncomfortable, several even left the line waiting to pay and put the proposed merchandise back on the rack. 

After eating in a seafood restaurant off a major interstate, I was waiting to pay for my meal and the clerk, hostess and waiter, right in front of me, engaged in a conversation (loudly, I might add) complaining about their jobs, employer and each other.

Whenever I encounter unhappy employees in a restaurant, I become concerned about how they treat my food before I get it! 

While checking into a motel recently, I had to wait while the clerk finished a personal phone conversation in which he at first was arguing about a family issue and then began to complain about having to work that evening. 

The long and short of these issues was that I was very uncomfortable in every situation, even causing me to not want to do business or spend my money or time with those establishments. 

Everyone I encountered was an obvious “Complaining Crank”.

What really is a concern to me is the number of people who complain about their church, their Christian friends, and most of all, anything that might cause them to put the Lord, who died for their sins, first in their life! 

Paul said we are to be “Shining Stars” not complaining or arguing but bearing witness for the Savior in positive conversations and attitudes. 

It set me to thinking about “was I a shining star” that brings glory to God in every part of my life, or was I seen as someone who didn’t have anything positive to say about my Lord, my Christian family and friends, or my Lord’s house, the church! 

Just like the people, and myself, who were using and watching the services of the establishments as I encountered the negative attitudes of those who worked there, those of us who are God’s children and representatives of His saving grace in our lives can turn away people who need to know Christ and build a relationship with Him.

So let me ask you, are you a “Shining Star” or a “Complaining Crank” for Christ? Remember what He did for you. 

What are you doing for Him?

Anyway, I was just thinking…

One thought on “IWJT Throwback: Dr. Billy Hutchinson’s “Shining Stars or Complaining Cranks”

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