Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! James 5, verse 9.
I am a project manager on a large remediation project in Minnesota. I’m the program project manager, the training lead, and the logistics lead on an effort that is updating medical codes at a medium-sized insurance company. Come October, if you visit a doctor in the United States, you’ll be affected by the codes we are updating because every doctor, hospital, and insurance company is doing it. It’s a UN initiative; we’re simply complying to bring us in line with codes the rest of the planet is already using.
The team I’m helping to lead has nearly 40 people on it. When you get any large group together and try to get them moving in the same direction, you’ll encounter friction. Personality conflicts, unforeseen circumstances, emergencies, dissatisfaction, glory and glory-seekers, success and setbacks: you encounter all of them if you stick around long enough.
So I find it amazing that some of the most practical management advice is as old as the Bible because it’s found in the Bible. Want to handle conflict? Try the Golden Rule. Want to address issues at the lowest level? Try Matthew 18. And if you want to lay out cause and effect, follow James’ advice here. Don’t grumble against us because we’re all being judged. We are constantly being judged by God, who is the original TQM (total quality management) advocate, ensuring quality (holiness) in all things by constantly applying and evaluating the highest measurable standards. It’s His job: he’s the boss.
Don’t believe me? Well, what else does a boss do but judge? Said judgment can be good or bad, constructive or destructive. It’s a manager’s job to constantly (and consistently) evaluate. Performance, people, systems, environment, changes, information: we evaluate everything. So does God. And He can see when we’re doing petty things like holding grudges, gossiping about each other, and grumbling about the way things are. God sees those things as dysfunctional, counterproductive to the primary mission, which is sharing Himself for eternity. He’s always watching, always measuring us.
The measure He uses is Jesus. When He sees Jesus in us, all is well. Quality is at its highest, performance is optimal, and standards have meaning. You can lead any team successfully with Jesus as your standard.
I don’t know if you’re a boss, but you’re still a manager, you know. You manage yourself. Nobody else is responsible for you; only you. Accordingly, if you want to see success, don’t grumble against others. Adopt Jesus as your only standard and watch how you won’t feel like grumbling. Invite Jesus into your life and see how well you can manage things.
Lord, you are the highest standard and the only measure I desire. Remake my sodden life, so that when people judge me they see only You.
Are you a grumbler?
How do you feel when others grumble?
What is your standard? Or who?