Romans 12:15

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 2:05 PM

We have just finished Vacation Bible School where I go to church. I love VBS because it is filled with so many good moments. It is a busy week but it is one of those weeks during the year that you feel a good tired. I think you know what I mean.

At our Vacation Bible School we give out special prizes at the end of each night by drawing names out of a cup. I will share with you a secret, everyone by the weeks end gets a prize.

This are simple prizes, hats, cups, Bibles, pen, whistles, you get the picture. Though they may be simple, the kids love them. They get a special smile on their face when we call out their name and they come up to get their prize. It is my favorite time of the entire night.

I need to be more specific on how this works for just a second. Me and my buddy Billy pull the names out of the cup, we yell the name out and the adults help us out by clapping and yelling for the kids. The kids who are getting the prize are excited but the ones who do not just kind of sit there hoping for the next time. There not sad but there not going crazy for the winner either.

The next to last night we were calling out names and we came to my 10 year old Matt’s name. This guy loves life and really I am not sure he has ever had a bad day. His best buddy is his little brother John. They wrestle and fight every once and a while like all kids but overall they do love each other.

John was sitting on the opposite side of the church from Matt. For some reason as Billy handed out the prize to Matt, my eyes left Matt and glanced to the other side of the church where John was standing. Yes, standing.

While all the other kids where sitting there waiting for the next name to be called out in hopes that it would be them, John was rejoicing that his brother was getting a prize. He was standing, holding his hat and smiling like he had just won his self. He was joining in with all the adults in yelling for the winner, Matt. I could see in his face (because he is my son) a genuine and heartfelt joy for his brother. For him it was as if he had won, he just did not get to go receive the prize.

John was practicing what Paul talks about in Romans 12-15, “rejoice with those who rejoice…” The world would be a better place if we could all see fit to practice that verse.

When you practice that verse you are putting yourself in the other person shoes. There is no jealousy, there is no ulterior motive, and there is no bitterness, just joy that someone else is enjoying a special moment.

To practice this verse a few things need to be in place, they are: To really practice that verse sincerity is the key word. People can smell a phony a mile away. To practice that verse you have to be completely satisfied with your position in life, otherwise jealousy and envy will slip in. To really practice this verse you must have a real love for the other person. A selfish person can not rejoice at someone else’s victory because they want it for themselves.

The last half of that verse read’s like this, “…morn with those who morn.” Paul is speaking of a sharing of emotions, of joy, of sadness. God created us to be social people who need one another. Those needs are best met when we love like Christ calls us to love, unconditional, putting the other person first.

We are better people when we are surrounded by those who love us and can share our emotions with us.

We are the right kind of person when we can truly share in the emotions of those God has placed us around.

Next time something good happens to someone around me, instead of thinking of myself, I am going to remember the little boy with a smile on his face, a hat in his hand, cheering for the one he loves with all his heart. How could I forget?

Romans 12:15 in action.

Scripture: Romans 12:14&15, “Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.”

The Message

Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

Dear Lord, Help us to put our own selfish desires away long enough to enjoy life with those who are happy. Help us to share lives up and downs and be good and sincere friends. You are a wonderful God and we thank you for your love. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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