Sometimes I find it hard to be genuinely happy for others when good things happen to them instead of me.
There, I’ve said it. And it sounds horrible doesn’t it?
Why is it so hard to rejoice with those who rejoice, as we’re called to in Romans 12:15? I’m pretty good at the mourning with those who mourn, but for some reason the rejoicing is tougher.
We live in a culture based on competition.
We measure our worth in comparison to those around us.
“I’m not as smart as her.” “I’m not as athletic as him.” “I’m bigger than her.” “I’m making more money than him.”
In all of these statements we define ourselves not on our own merit, but in comparison to someone else. And in many of these situations, the ideal or standard set is actually impossible to live up to, because it’s not real!
But how do we fix this epidemic of competition and comparison that is robbing us of the joy of true community?
The solution is to operate out of love instead of competition.
Love doesn’t want to win, love wants to help others succeed.
Love doesn’t want to be better than, it wants to help others be their very best.
Love doesn’t look at self with pity or arrogance, but looks for good in others.
Love is counter-cultural. Love is life-giving.
I want to be free to rejoice with a friend when she is complimented for a skill I wish to be complimented for. I want to be able to appreciate that when people succeed in areas I want to succeed in, it doesn’t mean I’m less valuable.
That’s the real problem isn’t it?
We think that if someone else is any of the things we hope to be there is no room for us.
This is a lie. Straight from the father of all lies.
He wants us to think we can’t work together. He wants us to push our way to the top with no regard for those who are left in our wake. But the truth is there is a place for you and me.
God created each one of us with something to offer the world that no one else can. God created you with a plan and purpose only you can accomplish. There are people only you can love the way they need to be loved. There are words only you can say in the way they need to be said. There are broken things only your hands can fix.
Let’s not fight and compete and compare.
Know that your value is immeasurable – you carry the very image of God. When he looks at you he doesn’t stand you up beside Mother Teresa and weigh who is worth more. He just sees you and smiles the smile of a proud parent.
Rejoice knowing your value is secure in His promises – His words of life spoken over you.