Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged. (Jas 5:9a)
There is something that Jesus said quite often: the standards with which we measure others will be applied to us. James is reminding the early Christians about this when he tells them that they should not be complaining about one another because, in doing so, they are setting up the standards against which they will be judged.
The early Christians had much about which to worry. They worried about being rejected. They worried about others informing on them, making them targets to be hunted down. They worried about the example of others and how it impacted the community.
In all their worries, though, they often did not turn that same critical eye inwards.
We may need to worry about other things and other people at times. However, we must make sure that we worry about ourselves even more. For, after all, the only one that can cause us to stray is our own self. If we keep trying to do good, if we attempt to keep the faith, we will be the example that others need.
If we are a good example to others, the community will grow because of it.
Hence, our worrying about ourselves will help the community to grow, not our worrying about others.
There is much work that needs to be done — and most of it begins within.
FAITH ACTION: Make a personal inventory of the things that you need to work on in your spiritual life. Prioritize them. Make an effort to address the top item on your list today.