Don’t Grumble Against Others

“Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:9)

How do you respond to others? Would they consider you to be pleasant and encouraging…or a grumbler and complainer? God’s Word tells us very clearly that grumbling leads to judgment. Where do you stand before The Judge when it comes to your loving…or not so loving responses to others?

Christ has made it so that we can always respond with kindness and without grumbling no matter what the circumstances or the nature of the others involved. Take Him at His Word and cease grumbling.

James is one of the most practical books of the application of our faith in the works and fruit that are evidence of our salvation. As the Elder at the fledgling church in Jerusalem shortly after Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension…and as the half-brother of Christ, I can only think that his practicality, led by The Holy Spirit, was borne out of real-life situations and relationships.

In our previous “one another” from James, he commanded believers not to slander or say anything evil about others. The next practical “one another” is found in James 5:9 where again his pragmatic instruction to us is, “Don’t grumble against each other…” Hmm, you think that Christians were and are prone to grumbling against each other?

Of course we are! Because, as Paul stated in various ways, even though we are saved and have the new identity in Christ and The Holy Spirit in us, as long as we are alive and breathing, we must still contend with this fallen, sinful flesh of the old man or woman. That means our natural tendency is to complain, grumble, slander, cut others down rather than build them up.

We can only follow through on these commands consistently as we continue to mature in Christ and His Holy Spirit maturing us in the new nature He has imparted and imputed to and in us!

Remember that latter part of this verse states that if you grumble and complain against others, your will be judged accordingly because The Righteous Judge Himself is observing how you are handling things…and especially your relationship with others.

Paul echoes this in Philippians 2:14-15 and it also echoes in my ears and mind often as my dear Mother used to quote this to me and my siblings whenever we would begin to grumble or complain about anything. She and my Dad would add, “doesn’t do any good and only makes matters worse so it’s up to you.”

How are you doing when it comes to grumbling against others… not on your good days but on your worst days? That’s the real test. How do you handle it when others grumble against you?

Christ has made a way as we walk with Him as Lord…not just as Savior…to be able to mature in His Spirit as we become more and more like Him allowing His Spirit to have His way in and through us. That’s how others can see Jesus!

Let’s thank The Lord for making it possible for us to die to the old person of our flesh and selfish desires and live in the new person that we are in Christ by the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit. This is the only way that we can truly live out these “one another” commands to love others and maybe even especially those like today’s exhortation to not grumble against each other…even when things don’t go my way or others grumble against me. Let’s thank Him for helping us exhibit the love of Jesus by the power of The Holy Spirit so others can see and know Him and build His Kingdom and bring Him Glory!

Food for Thought…Have you become a grumbler by your thoughts and habits…the way you think and react to others when things don’t go your way? In line with James, and of course they’re in line because The Holy Spirit is the uniting Author of all Scripture, Paul tells us in Philippians 2:14, “Do everything without grumbling or complaining,” and then v.15 reminds us why…so we can shine like stars in the universe…that would be shining His light. Where are you when it comes to this command to be like Christ and ultimately to shine His light to a lost and dying world? How would those closest to you answer that question?

Action Steps…

  1. Spend time with God and in His Word, prayer and listening every day…begin with the Scriptures in this episode.
  2. Ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
  3. Pause to consider whether others, especially those closest to you, would consider you a grumbler and complainer. If so, begin to allow The Holy Spirit to change you.
  4. What and whose light are you shining by how you respond to others? If it’s your light, be willing to stop the grumbling and make it His!

Once again we’ve got a “negative one another” that tells us to stop doing what our flesh naturally and generally tend toward. Know that only in Christ and His Holy Spirit can we truly accept others with all their quirks and warts and do so without grumbling against them. Thank The Lord for those in your life who’ve helped you realize and grow in this and help others follow in this same path to be more like Jesus.

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