Monday, January 12, 2015

Don't grumble against another - James 5:9-11

"Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful." (James 5:9-11)
James is still speaking in the context of being patient while we wait for both the early and later rains. When our lives are full, we have little time for grumbling, but during the doldrums of summer, our idleness can get us into trouble. We often have great focus and purpose in the flurry of activity that surrounds the beginning and ending of any venture, but the long period of waiting that come in between and the monotony of everyday activity can easily lead us to grumble. This leads to one of my maxims of life: busy people have little time for complaining and grumbling. Unfortunately, many of our churches, at least the ones I have been a part of, are full of idle people... there is no wondering why there is so much grumbling and complaining going on.

Jesus similarly warned us saying,
"Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,' and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 24:45-51)
Monotony and boredom are not our friends and can lead us to behave as we would otherwise not do so. Unfortunately, we can never completely escape from their inevitability. Life is not one big party, nor is our work always interesting and exciting. Sometimes we must simply slug it out as we are waiting for the later rains and the promised harvest of our labors. In the times of seeming unfruitfulness, we must guard our hearts against complaining and grumbling and we must be careful not to to take out our frustration on others.

The key to winning over the doldrums of live is endurance. This Greek word means to "stay under." None of us wants to "stay under" boring times, but that is where we need to be and where the grace of God waits for us to teach us, train us, and mature us in our walk with the Lord. If we keep trying to escape, we will find grumbling and complaining waiting for us, to fill our lives where the work of God ought to have been. Endurance is never easy, that is why they call it endurance, but its fruit is always sweet. "After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 5:10-11)

David Robison

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