“Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!”
Do not grumble against
The readers of James tended to complain about each other under their financial duress. The word “grumble” means to sigh often, sigh deeply, to moan, to groan. A “grumble” is a half murmur of impatience and half harsh judgment not uttered fully aloud. It is a resentment not fully expressed.
James appeals to his readers not to bemoan each other’s state of affairs. They were complaining intensely and excessively about each other. Some people are chronic complainers.
The word “against” means down. The idea is to put others down. We put others down when we diminish them. Impatience with our own lot makes us impatient with other people.
“One another” here means one another of the same kind. James’ concern is a sin against the family of God.
James appeals to the family of God to act as the family of God.
lest you be condemned.
Jesus will judge our resentful attitudes toward fellow believers at the judgment seat of Christ.
Ro 14:10, “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
2 Co 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
God expects us to forbear others in light of eternal values.
It is easy to blame our troubles on other people. A tendency of people under pressure is to gripe and complain. We want to take out our frustrations on others. We want to issue recriminations against those that we deem have it easier than we do. There is no parity in this life, so why should we act as if it is possible?
Someone content with his own lot in life does not envy others or hold grudges against them. He does not complain, criticize, malign, or slander them. These are sins of the tongue. People who put others down put down the family of God.
Php 2:14-16, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”
God wants us to bear and to forbear. Are you able to take as well as give? Is there any give and take in you? We can forbear others if we keep the judgment seat of Christ in view.