Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)
A person once said, “A real friend is one who comes in when the whole world goes out.” Wise words were never spoken so well. Often, we need someone with skin on to walk with us when our emotions are running wild. In those joyous moments of celebration, we long to have a companion we can “high-five” with or laugh with in reckless abandon. Also, in those moments of deep despair, we seriously need a friend who will sit and weep with us, empathize with us, but not preach to us. Having a friend or even several friends like that is truly a gift from God.
We were made for companionship; we long for it, even if we act like we don’t need it. We really do. How is that working for you today? Do you have someone in your life with whom you are free to celebrate and weep?
Probing deeper, are you that kind of friend yourself? When was the last time you cheered for someone else when their team won, and yours did not? Can you recall a moment when you actually shed a tear with someone else who was walking through a season of sadness?
If not, why not? Living outside of yourself is an ongoing discipline of “otherness.” Self-absorbed people measure others by what others are doing for them. “Otherness” people are those who live to bless, encourage, celebrate, and weep with others. Allowing your emotions to be expressed without qualifiers takes a spiritually mature, and securely rooted Christian. We only hide what we are afraid will be damaged if we publicly expose it. That’s why we keep our cards close to our chests.
Look for someone else to celebrate with and weep with…without having to refocus attention on yourself in the moment. Ask the Lord to bring someone across your path today who really needs your emotional engagement. Breathe this as your prayer and you won’t have to look very far!