“Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.”
We are nearing the end of the book of James, and we’ll keep right on going into 1 Peter next. Let you friends know about Freedom For Today so they can join us as we begin a new series!
Why is sibling rivalry so common? Even in God’s family, his children like to grumble about each other. Siblings are our first peers and ultimately our first attempt at genuine community. Spiritual siblings are a second chance at community, with a lot more potential for mutual interest and shared goals. But the spiritual life is a life of suffering, and when people suffer together, they sometimes complain together. Or at each other. We are safest with each other to be vulnerable in our mess, and sometimes Satan uses this to turn us against each other.
The Christian life requires the long-view. The reward will come. Mercy is guaranteed. Eternal reward is on the way. Learning how to endure well is critical to your heart condition. We stay connected to the kingdom of God when we patiently suffer and press on. We can’t turn into wishy-washy wimps who complain and become impatient and say “yes” when we mean “no” or “no” when we mean “yes.” Satan has a field day with our lives when he can manipulate us in these ways.
Here’s your freedom for today: life is not about today. Life is about how today relates to eternity. And right now, the condition of your heart and the words that come out of your mouth set a course towards (or away from) God’s kingdom. Your salvation is not dependent on you — Jesus does all the work on that one. But your spiritual depth and growth does require patience, perseverance, and an eternal perspective. Don’t get caught up in the aggravations or busyness of your day. Ask, “If I were to live as if I were in God’s kingdom, how would I think about and live out my day?” You’ll feel a whole lot more free.