9 Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
The common refrain today is that we shouldn’t judge other people. At first glance it would appear that James backs up this idea as well. But it is false thinking to believe that a person will avoid judgment themselves if they only avoid judging others.
The truth is that everyone makes judgments. Christians should make judgments based upon the Bible and what God has said is right and wrong. While others do not hold to the same standards, they still make judgments on right and wrong based on their conscience and other areas of influence. To simply say “do not judge” is foolish and not possible.
James specifically warns against grumbling in this verse. In the broader context James is discussing suffering and finances. Grumbling accomplishes no good during suffering. There are constructive things that can be done while suffering but grumbling is not one of them.
The warning that the Judge is standing at the door serves as both a positive and negative reminder; it depends upon a person’s circumstance whether this is good or bad. For those who are grumbling about suffering as well as those who are causing suffering, judgment is a bad thing. But for those who are suffering and may be tempted to grumble about it, judgment is a good thing. God knows the suffering of His people and there will be judgment for it at the appropriate time.