Grumbling just rumbles up from the depths of our disgusted being, doesn’t it? We are inconvenienced, irritated and we mouth off, complaining and rude. Bambi’s friend Thumper offered almost biblical counsel from the land of Disney: “If you can’t say sumpin’ nice, don’t say nuttin’ at all.”
Jms. 5:9 “Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!”
These words are focused on how followers of Jesus speak to each other. One who is committed to follow him and be his presence in their world will be encouraging others who want to do the same, not undermining them with negativity and grumbling about details (and all else is detail, right?). Whether that grumbling is open opposition to individuals or situations, or behind the back of those people, it is harmful. It diminishes our effectiveness as we seek to present the gospel message. We will be judged for speaking in that manner to one another.
What does judgment mean for those whose punishment was borne by Christ? Romans 8:1 provides assurance that we will never be condemned but that does not mean we won’t be disciplined. I don’t want to be disciplined for grumbling against a fellow follower of Jesus. I much prefer being taught by God through his Word this morning, to close my mouth when tempted to grumble against a brother or sister, another follower of Jesus.
“The Judge is standing at the door!” has a truly ominous ring for those whose punishment was not borne by Christ on the cross. Make no mistake, judgment is coming – and condemnation for those who continue to resist yielding their will to his.