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Love Celebrates God’s Goodness to Others
By Rick Warren

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 (ESV)

The Bible tells you to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15 ESV). Have you noticed that the second part of that sentence is easy, but the first part can be really tough?

When somebody’s having a hard time, it’s easy to be sympathetic. It’s easy to encourage people when they’re down. But what about when someone in your circle gets a promotion? That can be hard to handle! Rather than rejoicing in someone else’s success, you may resent it. You may even wish bad things would happen to people, because somehow you think that if you can blow out their candle, yours will shine brighter.

But here’s the truth: There’s plenty of God’s grace to go around.

Jesus once told the story of a landowner who hired workers at the beginning of the day to work in his vineyard. And the landowner continued to hire workers throughout the morning and afternoon, so that some of them only worked an hour or two. Yet, when it came time to pay the workers, the landowner paid everyone the exact same amount.

The workers who were hired at the beginning of the day complained that this was unfair, but the landowner replied, “Don’t I have the right to do what I want with what is mine? Are you jealous because I’m generous?” (Matthew 20:15 CSB).

Sometimes you may feel the same way when God blesses someone else. You work hard and do all the things God asks you to do. But then you see him generously bless someone else. And perhaps you think that person doesn’t deserve to be blessed because they don’t appear to have worked as hard as you or to have served God as faithfully as you.  

The thing is, if God wants to bless others the same amount as you, does it really matter? You shouldn’t even worry about what he wants to give other people. You should only be concerned about what you’re doing with what you’ve been given.

Let me explain something about envy to you. Envy happens close to you. It happens in your relationship with your peers. You don’t typically envy people who aren’t your peers. You might occasionally think of a favorite singer or actor and think, “I wish I were like that superstar.” But, it’s the people closest to you who tend to provoke the greatest envy. It’s hardest to see your family and friends experiencing success.

Envy is insidious. It devalues others, it destroys relationships, and it makes you miserable. It’s hidden, but it’s destructive. And it causes you to miss out on so much joy.

Perhaps you’ve wanted to be married, but you’re not married. Or you were married, and it fell apart. Now you dislike weddings. When you get a wedding invitation, you start resenting. You think that when someone else’s candle is shining, it will put yours out. You’re wrong.

You’ll enjoy life a whole lot more if you learn to be happy over the successes of other people. If you’re only happy when things go well for you, you’re going to be miserable most of your life. But if you learn to applaud other people’s successes and celebrations, you can be happy all the time.

Envy is the most unloving thing you can do to somebody else. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:4, “Love does not envy” (ESV).

Love is not envious. Instead, love celebrates God’s goodness to others.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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