“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15, NKJV
A young woman posted to a popular social media site her recent purchase of a new house. She explained how long she has been waiting and how hard she had to work to have enough money saved up to buy her first home. Instead of “Congratulations,” the woman received so many hate responses she removed her message from the social platform for fear of retribution that might ruin her reputation, or worse, elicit physical harm. What was the motivation for such a negative response? Envy? Jealousy?
If we live long enough, every person will have ample opportunity to experience both happiness and sadness. When my husband died nine years ago, I lost my best friend since the age of sixteen-years-old. Young Onset Alzheimer’s disease robbed Richard of his brilliant mind and years we had hoped to spend with our children and grandchildren. Family and friends came together to lend their support in my time of grief; a love offering I will never forget. Jesus wept with His friends Martha and Mary when their brother and His dear friend, Lazarus died. At a wedding celebration in Cana, Jesus rejoiced with friends when answering the request of His mother, Mary, to replenish the wine, so that the celebration could continue. Of course, both Bible stories have deep spiritual meaning, but on the surface, we can learn a simple truth: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
The young woman who purchased her first ever home has every reason to find joy in her accomplishment, and wanting others to know should have incurred a joyous response. Envy and jealousy can motivate us to a place of resentment and despair. I have heard it said, “Envy and jealousy are not wanting what others have, rather envy and jealousy are not wanting others to have it.” May you and I always find enough love in our hearts to meet people where they are in life.
Are you a friend who loves through every season?
For deeper study, read: John 11:1-44 (Lazarus); John 2:1-12 (Wedding in Cana)