The other evening I realized that if I am not careful I have the tendency to behave like a teenager. How can that be? I have been an adult for many years. Now don’t get me wrong! I love teenagers. We have three grandchildren who are teenagers right now, with eleven more who will journey through those years. They can be fun, engaging, helpful, and great cooks. However, there are moments…
So, what did I realize? Our small group is studying the book of James through the video teaching of Beth Moore and her series, James: Mercy Triumphs. James 5: 8-9 showed me just how immature I tend to be sometimes.
James 5:8-9 (ESV)
You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
I am patient, well at least most of the time. Verse eight wasn’t my problem. It was when Beth pointed out the meaning of the original word for “grumble” that showed me how much I still behave like a teenager. She explained that in the original Greek, the word grumble actually means a “deep sigh” or “groan.”
To quote her:
“The key word grumble is especially captured in the ‘unexpressed feeling of bitterness or the smothered resentment that may express itself in a groan or a sigh.” (The Expositor’s Commentary, vol. 12, Hebrew-Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981) 202
Oh, my! Can you picture the quiet, or not so quiet sigh and rolling of the eyes of a teenager when they don’t like the guidance and instructions their parents give? I had to stop and ask myself if I don’t I have the same attitude sometimes. What do I do when another driver makes a stupid move? What about when my husband and I don’t agree? And I am embarrassed to admit that I must keep my attitude in check when confronted with a sales clerk that is not as efficient as my busy schedule needs them to be. At these times my impatient “groan” can be not so quiet.
There are many times that I may not verbally express my feelings of bitterness. There are times when I try to smother my resentment and groan or sigh inwardly. However, my face probably shows all too well what is going on in my mind and heart.
Then I think of the unending grace that God gives to me daily. Through His grace He sent His only Son to die in my place to take the punishment for my sin. It was through God’s grace that He will forgive me of that sin if I only believe that Jesus died, and I ask for that forgiveness.
Acts 15:11 (HCSB)
“…we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way they are.”
Romans 3:24 (ESV)
“and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
It is through His grace that He guides me each day as I pay attention to His divine leading and resist the daily temptations.
2 Corinthians 8:7
But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
1 Peter 4:1
[ Stewards of God's Grace ] Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
In preparation for my annual spring ladies prayer retreat I have also been studying verses that speak about “grace”. The theme this year is ‘Be Still and Know…God’s Grace’. The theme was chosen a year ago. Are you seeing the pattern? I think God saw an area in my life that needed work! He brought the study in James and my study about God’s grace together at the same time. He has done this before, and I am sure He will do it again. I learned long ago, that I am not able to share God’s lessons until I have learned them myself.
Lord, help me to show others the same grace you have shown me. Help me to lean on you for patience and understanding when it does not come naturally. Forgive me for the groaning I have done, and the rolling of the eyes when I don’t want to follow your lead. Thank you for your continuous love and patience.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Debi Snider... more