When Not To Rejoice: Loving Our Neighbors

Rejoicing- great joy; jubilation; the action of one that rejoices; an instance, occasion, or expression of joy

The Akan people (an ethnic group of West Africa) Ghana have a proverb:
“The lizard is not as mad with the boys who threw stones at it as with the boys who stood by and rejoiced over its fate!”

Rejoicing at someone’s downfall is like participating in the cause of that downfall or wishing more evil on that person. That was the attitude of the Ammonites who rejoiced when the temple in Jerusalem “was desecrated and over the land of Israel when it was laid waste and over the people of Judah when they went into exile.

Ezekiel 25:3
Say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God” Because you said. Aha! against My sanctuary when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into captivity.

For celebrating Israel’s misfortunes the Ammonites experienced God’s wrath, which resulted in great consequences.

Ezekiel 25:4-7
4 indeed, therefore, I will deliver you as a possession to the men of the East, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwellings among you; they shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk. 5 And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels and Ammon a resting place for flocks. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”
6 ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced in heart with all your disdain for the land of Israel, 7 indeed, therefore, I will stretch out My hand against you, and give you as plunder to the nations; I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will cause you to perish from the countries; I will destroy you, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

1. How do you react when disaster befalls your neighbor, friend or family member.
2. How do you react when your neighbor, friend or family member gets into trouble.

If he or she is a nice and friendly neighbor, friend, or family member, you will sympathize with them or go to their aid. However, what if he or she is an unfriendly neighbor, friend, or family member. Our natural tendency may be to ignore him or her or “secretly rejoice” at his or her downfall and say, “that’s Karma.”

Proverbs 24:17
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles.

Jesus tells us that we show His love in action when we “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

Matthew 5:44
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.

Matthew 5:48
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Now honestly, it is not easy to show kindness to those who have hurt us, whether they be saved or unsaved, therefore there are two truths we need to remember. We must keep in mind, that even as born again Christians, all of us are a “work in progress”, being perfected daily by the Holy Spirit. The unsaved do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, and so they will consistently yield to the whims of the flesh, just as we once did.

Heavenly Father, open my eyes and my heart to be honest about my attitude toward those who are unkind or unfair to me. Fill my heart with Your love, Lord, and help me pray for them. Amen.

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3 thoughts on “When Not To Rejoice: Loving Our Neighbors

  1. Love this piece…this is so hard to be that way..I have prayed for my enemies but not before I say or think..that’s karma..which of course I shouldn’t have. I’m becoming better about it. The best thing I ever did was deactivate Facebook and not feed into all the garbage people share on there. That way I don’t know about anyone’s downfalls or troubles unless someone personally brings it to my attention. Sort of out of sight out of mind I guess…either way..love this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Andi. Your BLOG is very inspiring, as well. I know what you mean about all of the negativity that can be found on FB. I still have my Facebook account, however I only use it to encourage others. God laid it on my heart, four years ago, to post a daily encouraging post. Sometimes it’s a scripture, or sometimes God just gives me a few encouraging words to leave with those on my Friends List.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome and thank you. Yea I tried to use Facebook for that but I realized I had alot of negative Nancy’s as friends so instead of deleting..I just deactivated. I had more haters than likers..lol..

        Like

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