Jas 5:9-12 “Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”
Brethren, we should not murmur against one another. The word murmur here carries the idea of what we would call “muttering under our breath.” It is to carry ill will in our hearts even though we might not express it out loud. Notice that we are admonished to refrain from this, not because of what it does to our brother, but because judgment is drawn against us. When we grudge against a brother, we are condemned.
This condemnation is not about man’s judgment. The Supreme Judge stands before the door. He has not entered in unto us, but stands against the unrighteousness that causes us to murmur against our brother. Notice that we are still talking about family here. The discussion is about the action and attitude of brothers. We are not dealing with people who are outside of God’s eternal work of salvation.
We need to consider those who have been inspired by God to speak the truth. To do so is to assure that the world will esteem us afflicted and smitten: we are not greater than our Master. We are to suffer with patience the judgment of men that the glory would belong to God. Endurance is not just an attitude of “I will bear this because I have no choice,” but rather that we are happy to bear affliction in the name of the Lord. What a wonderful joy in our lives to be able to endure hardness with the attitude of the saints of old and rejoice that we are counted worthy to bear stripes for the cause of Christ.
We are happy in our endurance because it has revealed to us the tender mercy of our God. At the end of our patience is the revelation that He is full of pity and love for us. He is touched by our infirmities. He reveals Himself to us as our daily Deliverer from all hardness, from the judgment of men, and from murmuring against our brothers.
We do not need to make great oaths before God or men. We do not need to stake great claims. Our service to Him is simple: say what we mean and mean what we say. Speak the truth in love and live love through the truth. When we take a stand against unrighteousness, stand firm and be consistent. As long as we are consistent in the grace we have been afforded to let our yes be yes and our no be no, then we don’t have to fear the judgment. We open ourselves up to condemnation (hypocrisy – see Strong’s) when we make great boasts. Serve Him in simplicity and give Him glory: deny self and don’t murmur against your brother.
May God lead us by His loving pity that our yea to be yea and our nay to by nay!