With all the evil in the world, you might wonder why we would waste time focusing on a sin of talk. “Talk is cheap,” you know. Shouldn’t we put the spotlight on real evils like murder, terrorism, cyber hacking, drug cartels, and sex trafficking?
Those things are terrible indeed, but they can be endured. The believers over the centuries have weathered all that and more. Scripture wants us to pay attention, not just to evil in other people but the acids that corrode our own souls. One of the worst is a spirit of bitterness and thanklessness: “Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:9). Grumbling sends a message to God that you feel cheated in life, that all his lavish blessings to you are not enough.
Allowing yourself to grumble against other people, especially out loud and in public, makes you think that you’re the supreme judge of morality. It’s gratifying to a sulking spirit to think you deserve better. In fact, we deserve nothing but condemnation ourselves because of our many sins; all we have and enjoy now are blessings from a generous God. If we intentionally harbor a bitter and complaining spirit, we risk putting ourselves again under his judgment.
That all stops right now. This very minute, resolve with me that no grumbling will come out of your mouth today.