Romans 12:15 (NKJV)
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
On the outside, this verse looks like a very simple idea that should be very easy for us to execute. If we love our brothers and sisters in Christ this idea of rejoicing with them as they are happy should come very naturally. But, oh how our flesh dominates!
Love Your Neighbor
Mark 12:30–31 reminds us… (30) And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. (31) And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
We certainly would rejoice with our Lord when He rejoices so we should with our neighbors as well. The question is, do we really rejoice with those who rejoice. It is very easy to rejoice when envy and jealously is not involved. If a friend is offered a promotion to a position you are not interested in, that is easy to rejoice in. It becomes a lot harder to rejoice when that same friend gets the promotion you had been striving for. How about something far simpler, a vehicle, not very easy to rejoice when your neighbor buys that car you have been eyeing for months. 1 Corinthians 13:4 offers a reminder that love is not jealous. If we are to be followers of Christ, we must adhere to His commands, no matter the difficulty!
Weep With Those Who Weep
I fell into that terrible trap that is Facebook video last night. I honestly cannot even remember what the original video that I clicked was, but after about 20 minutes I landed on this video of a truck driver that had gotten his 18-wheeler stuck on the tracks. The guy videoing the incident was excitedly running his mouth about how the driver had no clue how to drive and voiced his opinion about many other things. I turned it off as soon as he started swearing so I don’t know how the story ended, but this was a perfect example of how we should not act when those around us are weeping. Supposedly this was an active track and the driver probably stood to lose a lot of money if his truck was hit. This would be a time to weep with that driver, not rejoice and make fun of him. We must know those around us well enough to know when our neighbors are hurting so that we can share their pain.
What a great reminder to check our heart in all situations. Are we approaching a situation with love or envy? The results could not be more different. If we call ourselves disciples, we must rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those that weep. Anything different than this and we must evaluate our walk.
Proverbs 23:17 (NKJV)
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;