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The Power to See It Through James 5 Part 2

by Robin Gough

     James 5:9: “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” 

     After he tells us to be patient, James tells us to watch our attitude - Be Positive.

When the race gets difficult, it’s easy to complain…especially if you see others who are having a much easier time. Refuse to grumble or James says that you’ll be judged. And, in the next phrase, he points out that the Almighty God is the One who will be doing the judging. I heard this poem that says:

     ‘Two frogs fell into a deep cream bowl. One was an optimistic soul, 

but the other took the gloomy view: “We shall both die!” and he flung up his legs and said, “Good bye!”  

     But the other frog with a merry grin said, “I can’t get out, but I won’t give in.  

I’ll just swim around ‘til my strength is spent and then I will die the more content.”

     Well, he swam around ‘til it would seem that his struggles began to churn the cream. On top of the butter at last he stopped and out of the bowl he proudly hopped.  

     What is the moral? ‘Tis easily found: if you can’t hop out—keep swimming around!!’

     So don’t grumble— You’ve got to remain positive!! Keep swimming!! Hang in there...don’t quit...never give up.  

     Some translations say, do not complain about one another. James is one of those writers who says so much that feels like a punch in the gut. And this one gets me. 

     Back in chapter 4:1-2, James says, What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. 

     Many times, we grumble and complain about each other because of pride. See, pride makes me:

- Stubborn and defensive

- Arrogant

- Argumentative

- Critical

- Ungrateful

- Discontent and Jealous

- Competitive

- Self-conscious

     What James says here is reflective of the message found throughout the new testament – be humble. Consider others better than yourself. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 

     Here is James reminding us to put things into practice. See, it is one thing to theoretically believe something. It’s another to put it into practice. As a child of God, regardless of the situation, I have to pull my will into submission to God. 

     So James reminds us, that God is watching and so is the world. Stop complaining and grumbling about each other.


                             Robin Gough is from Pine Prairie, LA and grew up at Lecompte Church of Christ.  is Worship leader at Fairfax CofC, Fairfax VA


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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4