In today’s blog, I would like to take a look at one bible verse and put some application to it.
Romans 12:15 (NIV)
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
I always thought that this was a simple verse. Be happy when others are happy and sad when others are sad. I get it. Not tough. Move on with life.
But I found that I was wrong. While I’m somewhat OK at doing the second part, I’m finding that I’m not so great at doing the first part, rejoicing with those who rejoice.
Rejoice with your friend who got the job you wanted.
Rejoice with all those send you wedding invitations when you mark “1” on the RSVP card.
Rejoice with coworkers getting promoted over you.
Rejoice with those moving to bigger houses and buying better cars.
Rejoice with family members having baby after baby when you are struggling to get pregnant.
Rejoice with those living their dreams.
Rejoice with those rejoicing because they’ve been given the very thing you’ve been hoping, praying, begging, and pleading God to give you in your life.
Let’s get real here for a moment. Rejoicing with those who rejoice is a hard thing to do.
In men’s group one time, I heard a man say he taught his children this lesson by being deliberately unfair with what he gave them. All his children (he had many) were loved and punished fairly, but he would not be “fair” in his gift giving. For example, when he went on business trips, he might only bring back a gift for one of his children. When he would get home, he gathered them all together and said, “Everyone, look! I bought Suzy a doll to add to her collection! Aren’t you all so happy Suzy got a doll?”
This sounds crazy doesn’t it? Stick with me here though. It might not be a crazy as it seems.
Somehow this seemed to work. He told of a time when he was in the car with Son #2 and got a call inviting Son #1 and himself to a ball game. he told Son #2, “Guess what? That was a call from Coach. He wants to invite Son #1 and me to the game tonight.” Son #2 responded not by saying, “Why can’t I go?,” but by asking if he could personally call Son #1 to tell him the good news.
I want to be like that. I want to be so thrilled when God gives gifts to others, that I don’t even think about being left out. I think perhaps joy is the opposite of jealousy. If you’re truly rejoicing with those who rejoice, maybe you don’t have time to remember they have something you don’t. Joy is a selfless thing.
I want to genuinely rejoice with those who rejoice, even if I feel more like mourning. As I find myself surrounded more and more by those who rejoice: Let me rejoice God. Let me rejoice with those rejoicing.