“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep,” Romans 12:15 NASB
It is easy to rejoice with those who are rejoicing. We celebrate the couple that are having the baby. Congratulations spill out of us with relative ease. We are excited for them. The couple getting married or just married, we relish the sweetness of new matrimony and find ourselves smiling at how those friends who just tied the knot are still in their honeymoon phase. Even schooling! My wife recently graduated from her bachelors’ program and I was overjoyed to see how people congratulated her hard work, there was even a card and cake! There is something about rejoicing with others that makes us feel good.
However, it is not the same when it is with those that are weeping. How many of us see tears and immediately want to go the opposite direction? How often have we sat through the heart-wrenching sadness that someone else is experiencing and wept with them even though it is uncomfortable? There is a stereotype that women can sit around and cry with each other but is that even true? I know for men, tears tend to be viewed as weakness and are avoided. However, as believers we are told here to weep with those that weep and that word weep doesn’t just mean shed a couple tears, either. It means mourn, weep as a sign of pain, and grief, bewail, and sob aloud.
From my experiences, when I was emotionally at my lowest, having anyone around me that seemed to understand what I was feeling was a comfort. It helped me to not feel isolated, completely alone and disconnected. There is something distinctly human about crying, too. In fact, a quick Google check will show that scientists even agree, crying is a human thing. We also know that Jesus wept (John 11:35), when faced with the death of Lazarus.
Yet, the major take-away for me in this verse is the contrast between rejoicing and weeping, the difference in the highs of life and the lows of life. It makes me wonder, are we doing life with people when they are at their worst and at their best? In what ways have we failed to rejoice and weep with our fellow believers? Is it out of jealousy that we do not rejoice? Is it out of the selfishness of not wanting to deal with someone else’s stuff and how we might feel that keeps us from weeping with others? Pride? Fear of what others may think?
We are to bear one another’s burdens as well as cherish the blessings that we receive. So, perhaps we need to consider whether we are fair-weather Christians and what we can do to change that.
Until Next Time