9 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you [yourselves] may not be judged. Look! The Judge is [already] standing at the very door. James 5:9 [AMP]
When I first read this verse it kind of seems out of place; however, grumbling against others is a temptation that comes along with the pressure of difficult situations. How often have I come home and taken the frustrations of my day out on my family in either being withdrawn, sharp, or short tempered. So when I look at this verse in context with the ones preceding, it makes more sense if I see refraining from this kind of complaining or grumbling as an aspect of patience itself…patience is linked with ‘bearing with one another in love’ in Eph 4:2.
Usually the word ‘Grumble’ is used absolutely, but here in the Biblical Greek it has an object -> ‘against one another’. It could be that we believers should not grumble to others about ‘their’ difficulties, or that believers should not blame others for their circumstances. It might mean that James means both of these things. However, I then to lean toward it being a ‘grumbling/complaining in regard to one’s pressures created by current circumstances’.
As he did in James 4:11-12, he connects speaking against others with judgement. Here he warns that criticizing of one another places us in danger of judgement. This warning is similar to or influenced by Jesus’ well-known instruction of ‘Do not judge lest you be judged’. To reinforce further, James warns that this judgement is imminent. I’ll leave this one with a quote.
“The nearness of the eschatological day is not just an impetus to look forward to the judgment of sinners… but it is also a warning to examine one’s behavior so that when the one whose footsteps are nearing finally knocks on the door, one may be prepared to open…. The coming Lord is also the judge of the Christian.”Peter Davids
A part of being patient as a Christian is to remember that my issues here are small relative to the greater glory that awaits; and the last place that I should be complaining or making a stink about my circumstances is to the ones I love and spend my time with here on earth. My heart should always be prepared for the coming of Jesus. How embarrassing would it be to be grumbling about a life circumstance only to at that moment, look up and see Jesus coming through the clouds to take me home. I would feel shame and know that even though Jesus has died for all of my sin, I would still have to stand and hear the recollection of that grumbling/complaining at the judgement seat…then to look at Him and see in His eyes that He indeed died for that sin too, that because of His sacrifice, I would not have to pay for that moment of grumbling and complaining…sobering…