12/5 James 5:9

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

James is addressing a problem in the church that has remained for two thousand years. Personalities and callings are bound to differ and often clash. People tend to see the more forceful person as the one who makes a greater case. That is why both parties in a conflict refuse to acknowledge that the other has prevailed. In reality, the spiritually mature person will humbly refuse to escalate the tension.

This is not to say that there won't be times when one must take an inflexible stand. When it comes to sound doctrine regarding Jesus, we must not compromise, but we can take our stand graciously. When it comes to minor doctrines such as how we practice our faith and personal preferences, humility and gentleness are the fruits of the Spirit that need to be expressed. These are the fruits that maintain unity and show the love and grace God has toward us.

This also applies in the home. A husband should praise his wife for her good qualities, not grumble about her actions that he does not like. The wife should have the same grace toward her husband. The elders and the congregation should apply the same principle towards one another. Since we reap what we sow, we should all be sowing grace and patience as liberally as God enables us.

Consider: We should guard our words and attitudes as if Jesus was about to return the next second.