Daily Devotional | Romans 12:15 | Empathy For Others

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“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”  (Romans 12:15)

We are continuing on to day 7 of our daily devotion on Romans 12!  Crazy!  If you remember on Saturday, in Romans 12:13, we saw Paul call the church to act like the church.  He called Christians to act like Christians by meeting the needs of their brothers and sisters.  Today is similar to that call.  True Christians go through the ups and downs of life together.  When others are on the mountaintop, Christians rejoice with them.  When others are in the valley, they weep with them.

Let’s just get real and cut to the chase.  It is hard for us to celebrate other people, isn’t it?  When other people are succeeding, thriving, or just enjoying a good season of life, we can become envious of them.  Instead of celebrating and rejoicing with them, our jealousy pushes us into selfishness and pride.  Our pride wants it to be us succeeding or thriving, especially if it is in an area of life that we want to succeed or thrive in.  We begin to compare our lives and wish that it was us on the mountaintop.  That is not Christianity.  God calls us to rejoice when our brothers and sisters are up there, regardless of where we happen to be at that moment.

The second half of this verse may be a bit easier, but it can also reveal wickedness within us.  Does your heart break when someone around you has a broken heart?  I would guess that most of us are pretty good at weeping with those who weep, especially in the extremely tough times.  However, do you ever secretly feel better about your own situation when others are in the valley?  Sadly, I have done that.  That is wicked, and not what God calls His church to.  When others hurt, we hurt.  When others are down, we are there for them.  When others cry, we cry.  We don’t celebrate the valley in the lives of others, in hopes of making our valley somehow seem better.  No, we weep when others are weeping.

When others hurt, we hurt.

This verse has hit me pretty hard as I have been writing this.  It has caused me to check my own heart.  I want to be able to cheer people on and celebrate with them when things are going well.  When people succeed, I want to be able to rejoice with them, even if it is in an area that I want to succeed in.  I want my heart to break with those who weep around me.  When people are hurting, I want to be hurting with them.  By God’s grace, we can all be that way!

Pride can be sneaky, sly, secretive, and extremely wicked.  Lord, cleanse our hearts from it!  Let’s go on today as Christians who act like Christians.  Rejoice when others are enjoying the mountaintop.  Weep when others are hurting in the valley.  Shame on us for getting it backwards at times by being sad when people rejoice and glad when they weep.  God can meet us with grace there.  That grace empowers us to change.  Walk in it!  Join us for verse 16 tomorrow!

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  • Which is harder for you: rejoicing with other or weeping with others? Why do you think that is?
  • Think about a time when you lacked empathy for someone else. Pray for God to forgive you and give you more empathy going forward!
I would love to hear your thoughts and answers in the comments below!

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