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Can We Really Rejoice with Those Who Rejoice?
You know that verse in Romans 12 that says "rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep"?

I think we often focus on the weep with those who weep, because hey, rejoicing is easy, right? It's the being compassionate and empathetic and talking with those who need a friend that can be hard.

Well, I've been rethinking that lately. I think it's harder to rejoice with those who rejoice. Any of you who have ever had a friend who lost a husband or a child suddenly knows that weeping with those who weep is almost instinctual. We want to help, and bring meals, and comfort. We may not do it very well, but we want to.

But what do you do when a friend succeeds? What do you do when your sister gets pregnant after you've had three miscarriages in a row? What do you do when a friend lands a great job when you're stuck in a dead end one, and you feel like she's more successful? What about when a friend's child gets married, while yours have left the faith?

Or, to make it more personal for me, how do I handle meeting authors who are more successful than I am? How do I handle hearing that someone else has landed a book deal?

My oldest daughter is struggling with this right now because he sister has turned out to be really good at Bible quizzing. Rebecca's still better, but Katie's on her heels. Can Rebecca take it if Katie one day beats her in a quiz?

It's hard to rejoice with those who rejoice, isn't it? We're naturally inclined to be jealous. We want to be the ones who get all the good stuff, and when someone close to us succeeds at something we've been hoping and praying for, it is hard.

So how do you defeat that little green monster that makes us smile through clenched teeth and give that hug and say, "I'm so happy for you!", while inside you want to go outside and throw something? Or at least go and binge on chocolate?

I'm trying to figure out what to say to my daughter, because I want her to be generous with Katie. But the more I've thought about this issue, the more I realize it's a problem I have, too.

And maybe that's the way I'll handle it with Rebecca. We all want to be the best at everything. We all want our dreams to come true. But God has His own dreams for us, that we don't know. If we can realize we're all in the middle of God's dream, then maybe it's easier to be happy for someone else.

Because if we can't rejoice with those who rejoice, we're not very good friends and sisters, are we?

To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 8:23 PM , Blogger momstheword said…

Hello! Great post. It is hard, sometimes to rejoice with someone else. Especially if it's an area you are struggling with.

My two boys Bible quizzed too, but they are four years apart, so this never came up. I do, however, think the younger one feels like he's in his brother's shadow sometimes.

It comes down to we can't be jealous of how the Holy Spirit is working in someone else's life. We can't look at their life, and be jealous of or resent what the Lord is doing for them. But sometimes we struggle, just like you said.

He loves us just as much as He does them. He has an equally wonderful plan for us, equally wonderful, but equally different from theirs.

Again, great post and thank you for reminding us that it's all about Him, not us! We need to rejoice with others for His faithfulness to them, but that does not mean that He has forgotten us.


At 10:30 PM , Blogger Tracey said…

Come by my blog around 9 am (MOUNTAIN TIME) tomorrow (MON), I've got a surprise for you! Your getting an award!!!


At 7:55 AM , Blogger Terry @ Breathing Grace said…

Great post! Jeaousy is a emotion all have to conquer, but few will admit it.


At 9:45 PM , Blogger Mrs. Querido said…

I know of several friends of mine who were able to rejoice when we were blessed! If you need a faith boost, please stop by my blog today and see what God can do with twenty minutes and willing hearts.

I want to share the story with the whole world :)

He is so faithful and so good!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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