AND REJOICE with those who rejoice! American Christians aren’t very good at either of these it seems. My girlfriend and I were talking about this today. She commented how her daughter felt like it might not be appropriate to post photos of a blessing on FaceBook (a nice car loaned to them while home for a couple of weeks before heading off to the mission field). I thought that it’s sad that, even with a pure heart and motives, many of us feel this caution because of those who make lifestyle judgments or for fear our blessings will cause jealousy in others. We should all rejoice when we see others blessed or prospering. God gives these presents — He should get the glory!
And God takes away. He still gets the glory. We weep with those who weep because sadness is real. Hurt and suffering and pain are real. And we are called to provide love and comfort. Yet again, there are many who keep these things quiet, hold in the pain and don’t share for fear of the legalistic judgmental ones who will try to point out just what sin is the reason for the hurt. Or if they avoid that wrongheaded business perhaps they are offered some trite and unscriptural “word of encouragement” that does no more to encourage or edify than last week’s newspaper.
So here we are: Hiding both joyful blessings and very real suffering when sharing both should be the call to action to our brothers and sisters to extend the appropriate response, resulting in deeper relationships with each other and plenty of opportunity to glorify our King.
Here is the verse in context in my Bible:
Marks of the True Christian
9Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12)
Amen. May these be the marks of all of us!