Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rejoicing and Mourning – a Time for Both

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

~Romans 12:15 (NIV).

John Stott says, “Love never stands aloof from other people’s joys or pains. Love identifies with them, sings with them and suffers with them. Love enters deeply into their experiences and their emotions, their laughter and their tears, and feels solidarity with them, whatever their mood.”[1]

Love like this seems the perfect accompaniment to any occasion.

It understands and implicitly accepts where it finds itself—in the context of where others are at, physically, cognitively, emotionally and spiritually.

A Choice – Which Way?

So, we have two people before us—one rejoicing, the other mourning. Which one do we go with? Most people I think will choose the latter person; the person in more need. Still, we should actively celebrate others’ successes as well—only secondarily in priority to mourning with the mourner.

Love chooses to forego its own emotions to truly adopt another’s—by way of simple and complete sacrifice-of-moment. It walks away cheerfully from its own issues to the God-willed and commanded presence of another either shaking in their depths or needing the encouragement of rapport for things well done.

Love like this, I think we’d all agree, must be our chief aim.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] John Stott, The Message of Romans – The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1994), p. 333.

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