James 5:9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
Why do people grumble? Webster defines this word as “to mutter in discontent.” The Greek word basically means “to complain.” Behind these words is the idea of expressing our dissatisfaction with a situation. The Bible gives many stories of complaints and grumbling to God, especially the Israelites when they left Egypt and the prophets. Behind grumbling is usually a lack of faith and trust. Often the cause of this is when things do not go a person’s way. James focuses on how people complain about others. This is too common of a problem in the church and among believers. What causes complaining or grumbling? Usually when people don’t meet our expectations or do something against our wills. There are legitimate times to expose laziness, wrong doing, or erroneous judgment. These people must be corrected in a loving and careful way. But most of the time, however, our grumbling is fueled by judgment. James could have basically said, do not judge one another or put other people down. He may be echoing the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:1. We should not complain and grumble about others because we have our own problems and weaknesses. God will us the way we treat others. The answer to grumbling is humble prayer. We pray for ourselves, that God will give us a tender and compassionate heart like Jesus. We need God’s grace and love to flow through us. And we pray for the people we are grumbling against, that God would give them grace.
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