15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Romans 12:15 (ESV)
In sports, personal performance just has a way of dictating how we feel, doesn’t it?
When I perform well I’m naturally more joyful. But if I struggle, and people aren’t praising me for how I did, I become dejected and perhaps ashamed.
Often these feelings come regardless of what else is happening: a teammate doing well; a teammate that made critical mistakes; incredible support from fans, coaches or family.
It’s unfortunate our attitudes can be so easily swayed by an hourlong performance that can render so many other things irrelevant.
I see this inward-bent mentality in my everyday life as well. I can get so consumed by what’s going right or wrong with my situation that I neglect to see the positive and negative happening to those around me.
Instead of celebrating a friend getting an opportunity to play in the NBA, I grumble and complain and wonder “why not me?” Or living comfortably with my wife in a nice city, I fail to recognize someone else in a not-so-ideal situation who could be struggling and desperately needing encouragement.
I’m making everything revolve around me and how I feel. I’m supplanting God and others with myself as the dictating force in my life.
Failing to rejoice with others reveals a few things about us.
First, we’re believing we know better than God and doubting His goodness toward us. We think we know what we need to be truly happy, but where God has us with what He gave us is not it.
Second, it shows us where we believe true satisfaction lies. Instead of finding this in God through Jesus, we need “this” job or ”these” people to see us succeeding in order to feel important. It reveals an insecurity in our hearts that doesn’t trust God.
Failing to weep with others also shines light on darker parts of our hearts. Being so concerned with how we perform, what others think of us, and pursuing our next goal leaves no room for others.
We communicate to them that they are not important or what they are going through is not a big deal. We miss golden opportunities to help, encourage and build up our brothers and sisters when we overlook them during their low points.
Ultimately, failing to rejoice and weep with others leaves us isolated and alone. When we have moments to celebrate or walk through a troubled time, we won’t have anyone to share with or help us carry the burden.
We can’t go through this life alone. Let’s be the first ones to discard this notion that “life is all about me,” and be teammates, friends and citizens who celebrate genuinely with others and aren’t afraid to open our hearts to those hurting.
Reflect Which one do you have more trouble doing -- rejoicing or weeping with others? Why? When was the last time you truly celebrated someone else’s success or felt his or her sorrow?