Rejoicing in another’s shame
“I’m here today to apologize for the personal mistakes I’ve made and the embarrassment I’ve caused my family and community … I’m announcing my resignation from Congress …”
We’ve heard far too many speeches from politicians who, because of their immoral behavior, ended up in front of a microphone confessing their transgressions.
Many find it hard not to be cynical about whether these politicians feel genuine remorse. There’s little doubt their skeptics feel other emotions as they observe the demise of their political “enemies.” But do any of these emotions include compassion or grace? Or are the cynics too busy celebrating the downfall of their rivals?
Furthermore, how many of us constituents are offering prayers for those who have fallen? Are we praying for God to bring healing and restoration to their lives, marriages, souls?
We deal with similar scenarios within our local communities and churches.
What do we gain when we revel in the demise of our political enemies or social rivals? What does our giddiness say about us? Most important, how does our pleasure in watching our adversaries (or fellow church or community members) squirm define us as representatives of the body of Christ?
This week, as we continue to meditate on and apply 1 Corinthians 13, one small segment at a time, we’ll focus on the first part of verse 6. But let’s read the verse in its entirety:
[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
- What are some ways we can practice not rejoicing when people have brought humiliation to themselves and their families?
- In what ways can we exhibit God’s ways and His love?
We can begin by asking God to show us the times we’ve rejoiced during another’s time of shame. Then ask His forgiveness for being so unloving – and invite Him to help us recognize when we’re tempted to do so again. We could also ask our heavenly Father to give us a humble heart and help us remember how many times we’ve blown it and how much it hurt when others shamed us.
Because those were the very times we, too, needed grace and mercy.
What about you?
You can use a pseudonym (fake name) when commenting.
- Do you find yourself reveling at another’s downfall?
- Would you consider asking God to bring healing and restoration to their lives, marriages and souls instead?
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This kinda goes along with “releasing others from their debt.” I was just thinking about this the other day. You are right, we need to be so careful to not condemn others or take the stance that their sins are greater than ours. Our thoughts may have been far worse or could easily get there in the “right” circumstances. “But for the grace of God” is more like our attitude should be. God in near the humble but far from the proud.
These are excellent points, Barbara!