Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rejoice with those who rejoice.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15

Empathy is one of my strongest gifts, and I love that about myself. I like that I feel empathy for others and that God has gifted me to feel for others and want to help them. Though, I still feel that verse is hard. Very hard at times.

A co-worker, and wonderful friend of mine, have been talking about this verse a lot. It's such a blessing to be able to work with people who are great teachers, but you also have a lot in common personally and are able to be good friends. I have been thinking about this verse a lot.

Sometimes (maybe most of the time), it's harder to rejoice with those who rejoice than to mourn with those who mourn. Because rejoicing with others brings out the selfish side in me. It's easier to mourn with others when something bad happens, because who wants something bad to happen to you too? It's easy for me, usually, to mourn with others- to feel their pain, pray for them, try to tangibly fix it...

But what about rejoicing with others when they are rejoicing over something that you really wish was happening to yourself? That's hard. I am selfish. It's a constant battle to push my own selfishness aside, because I am sinful.

Don't get me wrong, I still am truly truly happy for others and love to rejoice with those who rejoice; it's just harder when people are rejoicing over things that I wish were happening to me too.

It reminds me of another verse. "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Romans 4:11-12

Everyone knows what comes after that in verse 13: "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." But people don't often stop to ponder the two verses before. Those two verses are nuts.

Being content in whatever the circumstances? In any and every situation? WHAT? I am not good at that. And Paul wrote this book FROM PRISON! I tend to freak out in panic situations, and being thrown into prison would make me crazy- it would not be my first instinct to be content! I wish I could say those verses are true of my life. I would like to be more like Paul.

Overall, I think I am a pretty content person. I truly am thankful for all that God has blessed me with, and I would never want to drastically change my life. I am very happy with my life. Thankfully, I have been blessed to never have experienced true need on this earth like others have. Would I be content if I didn't have enough food to eat? Would I be content if I didn't have a place to live? Would I be content in prison? Paul was also SHIPWRECKED, and he was still content.

I pray that I can truly rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn, while learning to be content in all circumstances.


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