Do You Want Restoration?
Extreme pressure can cause the destruction of the strongest of teams. Just watch reality tv. You watch spouses, siblings, best friends compete as a team only to get into the thick of the competition when they begin to complain and criticize each other. That usually marks the beginning of the end.
Well, unfortunately, this is a struggle for Christians too.
James 5:9 says, “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”
It’s too easy to play the blame game when life is hard. It’s common to look at your neighbor and say, “Hey, this is your fault.” That’s what Adam did with Even when confronted by God about eating from the tree of good and evil. Adam told God, “Hey, God, it’s not my fault. It’s your fault. You gave me this woman. It’s her fault. She gave me the apple.”
A better way of approaching our situations is to not criticize others regardless of responsibility. But instead, manage how you react. We are to build up and encourage with our words.
Not only does this result in a better community, but Jesus is coming again and will reward the Christian for their actions and their reactions.
Text in Context: Read James 5:7-12
Reflect: What’s the connection between the illustration of the farmer and the return of Christ? How will Christ judge His followers from non-believers? How should this judgment impact how we live today?
Respond: Who do you know who needs encouragement instead of criticism? Go encourage them today. Who needs to hear the gospel before Christ comes back? Tell them today.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the people you’ve put in my life. I pray for my friends and family, who don’t know you through your Son. Open their hearts to the gospel. Give me boldness to share it with them. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford