“Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” James 5:19
My last post, based on my husband’s Sunday School class on James 5:1-8, was called Be Patient! We talked about how we are to be patient while we wait on the Lord Jesus’ return, and that in due time everything will be made right again – the wicked will be judged and recompensed for the evils they have done to others, and the righteous (those who have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, exchanging His righteousness for our lack of righteousness) will be living in eternal bliss in our ‘mansion’ with our Lord, Savior, and King.
But, meanwhile, we are here on this sin-cursed earth, waiting for Christ to return. What, exactly, are we to be doing? In the words of the iconic Mr Rogers’ song, “Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting.” ♪ ♫
Well, we are not left to think and wonder, God’s Word has the answers in the remainder of James chapter 5:
Don’t grudge: Verse 9 gives us a little reminder of what happens when we lose hope – we take our eyes off Christ, and we get anxious, we look around at others and start to judge and criticize, and then comes the “grudge”. (Definition: a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury– whether real or perceived). James tells us not to grudge, for the same reason that we are to be patient – “…lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” I don’t know about you, but I hope that when He comes, He’ll catch me on a good day when I am being kind and considerate, and not on a bad day when I am “judging and grudging.!” We should love others.
Don’t give up: Verse 10 & 11 remind us of how the prophets endured during suffering, how they kept on sharing the Good News, and received comfort, mercy, and blessing from the Lord, and His grace to get them through their trials. He gives the example of Job who stayed strong in his faith and trust in the Lord even when others doubted. We should love and trust God.
Don’t swear: Verse 12 tells us that our word should be true, and should be enough. We should be honest, and so our “yes” should mean “yes”, and our “no” should mean “no” – we don’t have to say’ “I swear on my mother’s grave, I didn’t do it!” If we love God and love others, we will be truthful
Pray & sing: Verse 13-15 say that whether things are going well, or not-so-well, we should be praying to the Lord and praising the Lord. Prayer draws us closer to Him, when we ask others to pray for us and with us it draws us closer to our brothers and sisters in Christ, and when we sing praises to the Lord it reinforces our faith and helps us keep our focus on Him. Prayer helps us to discern God’s will and faith helps us to accept it. If we love and trust God we will show it with our prayers and praises.
Don’t shoot your wounded: Verse 16 tells us to confess our faults to another, and then pray for each other. There are two things you can be sure is true about every person you meet – they are a sinner, and there is a sin that they are struggling with. So, since we are all guilty sinners, let’s not gossip and criticize each other, rather, let’s lift up each other in prayer! Galatians 6:1 reminds those who are spiritually mature should help restore someone who is caught up in sin, in a spirit of meekness. Spiritual maturity can be summed up in one word – love! We should love others.
In summary, what should we do while we are waiting?
Love God and Love others: The whole law of God can be summed up in two commandments – love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-40). The ten commandments entail loving God and loving others. The fruit of the Spirit can be summed up by loving God and loving others. So, what do you think Christ will judge us on? How we loved God and loved others. In 1 Corinthians 3:13 Paul says that our work will be judged “and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is”– I believe that the work that “abides” will be those things we did out of sincere love for God and love for others.
So, I hope this has been helpful and encouraging to you as you patiently wait for the coming of the Lord, let’s try to love God and love others, I’ll try if you’ll try.
~Graced and Grateful Grammy
“Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” C.T. Studd