9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
Having grown up in a pastor’s home and having now been the pastor of a church for over sixteen years, I can tell you that one of the greatest enemies of the Christian church is a critical spirit. I have known people who felt they had the “gift” of criticism. No, that is not what they called it, but that is what it was. When someone develops a critical spirit no one is free from their critique.
Solomon said that there were six things the Lord hated and the seventh was an abomination to Him. The seventh thing was one who sowed discord among the brethren. Know this: God is not impressed with anyone’s ability to criticize anyone else. In fact, Jesus said that before you take the splinter out of your brother’s eye be sure to remove the beam out of your own eye. Since all of us have our own glaring faults, which of us has the right to criticize another?
Look at James’ admonition. He says that when we grumble against one another we will be condemned by the Judge who is standing at the door hearing all that we say. Can I really stand before God and tell Him how bad my brother or sister are? What is God going to do? Is He going to agree with me? No, God is not going to agree with me He is going to turn the mirror back on me and remind me that He saved me in spite of and from all of my sin therefore I am to be patient and loving with others as He was patient and loving with me.
A church without a critic is almost a perfect church. But, you say, what about the need to critique our ministries? There are times and places for that. But, you say, what about when someone sins against me or against another? There is instruction for that, go to them in the spirit of meekness and confront them so that they may repent and move forward in their faith. No, I am sure that there is no place for the spirit of criticism in the church of Jesus Christ. James criticized the critic and tells them to stop being critical.
Men, our study from the book, In the Grip of Grace has been a rich study on Wednesday nights. If you want to be encouraged with us do join us. The ladies last night started a new book, The Cross Centered Life. This is another really challenging and encouraging book study.
The concert season is upon us. Tonight we have concerts at Aurora West and Matea Valley. Tomorrow night we have a concert at Waubonsie Valley and Sunday there is a concert at Nequa Valley. Saturday and Sunday the Glee Club has concerts, which you are invited to attend. It is a busy time but a fun time. Many of our teens are involved in concerts so it is a fun time for each of them.
Keep our students in your prayers. This is a busy time for all of them.
Men, don’t forget the men’s prayer breakfast this Saturday.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS