At bedtime the other night we read Madi a story based around the scripture that tells us that we should be happy for those who are happy and be sad with those who are sad. It’s hard to do, isn’t it? In the story it gave an example of being happy when our friend gets the toys we want, and being sad with them when we get the one they want. For a four year old that is some seriously upside down logic, totally opposite of our “gimme” nature. But as adults? It’s not that different. Our minds know we should celebrate with others, but often our hearts lean toward envy.
There are times that I struggle to be happy for others when they have what I want. What I have feels less-than in comparison and being happy for someone else feels much harder than being jealous. But living a life that looks more like Christ and less like me isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to feel upside down and against our human nature.
It’s uncomfortable and hard and I never know the right words to say or how to find the balance between being walked over and ignored and lovingly promoting others. Because my heart wants to do that, while my brain gets shouty and wants to know “what’s in it for me?!”
You know, that scripture isn’t telling us to find the right words and do all the right things. It’s showing what it means to be a good friend. The kind of friend who can simply be with their friends, regardless of circumstances. It’s about thinking highly enough of others that you don’t need to promote yourself above them – rather you find ways to lift them up. Because the “what’s in it for me” blessings when I do that far outnumber any of the short term glory I might shine on myself.
“A rising tide lifts all boats”
So I want to practice today. Can I do that? Will you share with me in the comments something you’ve done recently that you’re proud of? It doesn’t have to be a huge accomplishment, but what have you done or experienced lately that has made you happy, so I can be happy with you? Consider this a judgement free bragging zone! Let me give you a virtual high-five, toss some virtual confetti, and give you a big virtual hug. Whether you finally got all the laundry put away or you got a promotion at work. Whether you said “yes” to a big opportunity or said “no” to a bunch of smaller ones. Whether you simply showed up when you didn’t want to or you lost 30 pounds. Whatever it is that YOU are proud of – will you share?
I’d love to celebrate you today!