Athlete, Celebrate the Joy
Romans 12:15 (New International Version)
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
It’s easy to wave and smile when you’re coasting downhill on your bike!
As we were riding the other day and climbing our final hill, an approaching rider who happened to be younger, stronger and riding a real street bike was heading downhill past us.
He looked happy and smiled broadly, waving a friendly good morning.
I can tell you I didn’t feel friendly at the moment, and I was struggling to keep myself from grunting and grimacing as he zoomed passed us.
So how do we respond when we are in the midst of trials while others aren’t? And what about when we are the ones coasting while others are struggling?
Romans 12:15 tells us to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
Christian, this Scripture verse challenges us to take our eyes off of ourselves and our circumstance, and to selflessly enter into the lives of others.
This requires humility, love and self-control as we adjust our hearts to those around us. Our goal should be to express godly love by genuinely celebrating with others in their joy, and sensitively supporting them during their sorrows.
Athlete, there are many times during the course of practices and games to both rejoice and mourn with your teammates. I’m not talking about cursory high fives and pats on the back, but genuine moments of joy for another person’s accomplishments.
Taking the focus off of ourselves is both refreshing and strengthening, because living the Christian life is not all about us.
We don’t need to operate out of a jealous spirit because the truth is, there is plenty of joy to be found when we walk with Jesus. We don’t have to compete with others for spiritual blessings.
The Bible tells us that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” James 1:17.
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11.
God longs to bless His children, and He loves giving us good gifts.
There is no scarcity with Jesus.
So let’s rejoice often with our brothers and sisters in Christ. And when they need our strength to face sorrows, we will be ready to help carry their sorrows to the cross.