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“The Judge Standeth at the Door”

“Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” James 5:9

I have never understood the purpose behind holding a grudge. I am not saying I am above committing this sin, but it makes no sense to spend our days in bitterness toward another person. It is sad when two brothers in Christ are at odds with each other. We should not allow ourselves to become bitter because of the way others treat us. I would be foolish to think I could live in this world any length of time and not have been mistreated or be guilty of mistreating someone.

What is interesting about this verse is that the condemnation is on the one holding the grudge. When I place this verse in context, I think about how badly the Christians were being treated. The rich had stolen from them and abused them. James writes to encourage them in their trials and afflictions by reminding them that Jesus is coming. Now, he is encouraging them not to spend time holding grudges against those who have done them wrong. If they do, then the condemnation is upon them.

You might wonder how you can let go of a grudge. The answer is in the last phrase of our verse. When we consider the fact that the judge is standing at the door, it will help us overcome our grudges. First, it should motivate us to keep our hearts clean, so we won’t have to stand condemned for a bitter spirit. Second, it should help us release our grudges because we know that judgment for wrongdoers is coming soon. That should cause us to pray for those who have done us wrong. Friend, life is too short to spend your days mad and bitter at someone about the past. If you can still replay every detail in your mind, you have not given it to God. Let go of your grudge and live in victory.