Rejoice with those who Rejoice

*I first posted this about a year ago, but feel that it’s a word for this time and this place*

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 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 one is defined not on their 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 the solution isn’t to change our culture.  That would be great, don’t get me wrong.  But it’s not gonna happen quickly or easily.

The solution, I believe, 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.

That 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.

Be free to rejoice knowing your value is secure in his smile.

21 thoughts on “Rejoice with those who Rejoice

  1. Good reminder Heather! 🙂 It is hard not to compare and compete, but we need to remember that God made each of us unique, and with that, comes a multitude of traits, talents, and gifts 🙂 We need to be happy for one another and encourage one another with love.

  2. Oh, I can so relate to everything you said!

    “We think that if someone else is any of the things we hope to be there is no room for us.” Sadly, I believe this way too much. I want to work on the loving and rejoicing with others, instead of feeling jealous.

    “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” -Proverbs 14:30

  3. Great post! This is something I am working on teaching my 5 year old daughter, who is in the stages of “Why did SHE get more than me?” And “Why does HE get to do that and I don’t?” I am realizing more and more that I need to exhibit happiness for others more often and more openly to her so that she can learn by example, not just by my words.

    I love what you said about Love being counter-cultural and life giving. That is SO TRUE. It is also so very freeing. When we can love people openly and without restraint, it is such a lovely feeling. And of course, it pleases the Lord!

  4. This is so, so true, especially in the blog world. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others, which leads to jealousy and feelings of inadequacy. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Thanks Alana. Ya, I love what Paul says in Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

  5. Oh heather.. this spoke to me today. Love, love love is what we need. And I am taking away how you said to see everything through the eyes of love. This whole post is right on…thank you. 🙂

  6. Wow, God so gently used you say what is so hard to share!
    You totally vocalized what has been lurking around in my heart for so many weeks… God is soooo good! Thank you for sharing your heart! You are so amazing & I’m so blessed to know you!!!

  7. I agree with you and I too sotimes tend to have a hard time rejoicing when good things happen to others. But this is a good reminder that we should always lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ at all times.

  8. Heather,
    This is so well written and so true! Love is the only thing that can conquer jealousy. So blessed you linked up, I pray everyone reads this.

  9. WOW. God is def. speaking to both our hearts & wanted everyone to see it today. I am glad that we could both share the same thing but in different ways! God is so so so good. I am so happy that I have met you!

  10. I just found your blog today through the link-up with We Encourage Tuesdays! Your post gave me chills today, you are SO right. I am going to graduate school to be a counselor and last night we talked about comparisons and how they can really sabotage our success. I have been falling into comparison mode lately, and need to realize that God created me to be ME. 🙂

  11. This is the second post I’ve read about this today. I’m going to set some time aside to search my heart to check if I’m running my own race or watching others wishing I was running theirs. Thanks for the challenge!

  12. BEAUTIFUL post…and one that I can definitely relate to. I
    constantly struggle with feeling inadequate and “less than” and it is something I really need to work on. Sometimes it is hard for me to see the success of others because it is a reminder of where I am NOT. Does that make sense?

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your heart here; you’ve given me a lot to think about!


  13. Thank you. I actually just got off the phone with my sister and we were talking about this. It’s hard to stop the competitiveness! I’m working on it! It’s nice to know others struggle with it too.
    Thank you!

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