How to Rejoice in God's Goodness to Others
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15 ESV).
When we see God being kind and gracious to others, we can respond with joy rather than resentment.
In the parable of the vineyard workers, that is the exact opposite of what the workers did: “The workers who had been hired first thought they would be given more than the others. But when they were given the same, they began complaining to the owner of the vineyard. . . . [And he said,] ‘Are you envious because I am generous?’” (Matthew 20:10-11, 15b CEV/NIV). The guys who worked all day were paid exactly what they contracted to be paid. They weren’t cheated; yet, they resented that other people who only worked the last part of the day were given the same amount. Instead of enjoying their pay, these workers resented it.
In Romans 12:15, the Bible says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (ESV). The second half of this verse is much easier to do than the first half. It’s easy to weep with those who weep. When someone is having a tough time, it’s easy to be sympathetic.
But it’s much more difficult to rejoice when someone has a success. We often don’t handle the success of other people very well. In fact, we’re sometimes threatened by it, and we resent it. That’s because in our minds we think the world is a giant pie that’s divided up into slices. We think, If somebody’s slice gets a little bit bigger than mine, that must mean my slice is going to be smaller.
That kind of thinking is wrong. Because God’s got all the pie filling in the world! He doesn’t run out of blessings. He doesn’t run out of grace. There’s more than enough to go around for everybody, and just because God blesses somebody else doesn’t mean there’s not enough blessing for you, too. He wants to bless you, but it may be in different ways.
The main thing envy does is keep you from entering into the joy of other people. As a result, you don’t enjoy much that goes on in the world. Envy will make you a pretty miserable person.
But if you choose to rejoice in God’s goodness to others, you can be joyful all the time — because something good is always happening to somebody.
Talk It Over
-- How can you see God’s hand in shaping the blessings in your life specifically for you?
-- Think about the ways God has blessed the people in your life recently. How can you rejoice with them today?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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