Rom 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
I know there is a lot to be said about bearing the burdens of one another and sharing in pain, but what about our joys? Romans tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep... What does that mean exactly? The Bible instructs us to come alongside someone who is weeping and weep with them, but what about our joys? How is one to respond when another is rejoicing?
We live in a culture where people find joy in a variety ways. To rejoice, in common terms, is to simply find joy in or to delight in a particular situation or thing. So when the Bible tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice I am curious what that means to me as a Christian and to us as a body of Christ.
Living in a materialistic society such as ours I find it commonplace to hear people getting excited about a new car or big screen TV that they have just purchased. Or those who have found the perfect job or new boyfriend that gives them all sorts of excitement... for the moment. I have to ask myself the question, "Am I supposed to be excited for these things with them even if I don't think they are of the Lord? Is this what Paul is talking about when he says to rejoice with others?"
When I study the Bible and look at the places it calls us to rejoice it generally is in context to the things of God or something He is doing. It also relates many times to us as a Christian body rejoicing with one another to have unity and completeness in one another.
Rejoicing when others rejoice may mean something different to some people, but I understand it to mean this: When one of us, as a member of the body of Christ, is rejoicing in the things of God, then the rest of the body will join in that rejoicing and together we give glory to God for the things he is doing.
2Co 13:11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
If we look on a little further in the passage in Romans it tells us to be of the same mind toward one another. Like minded believers rejoicing with one another and weeping with one another. As a body of Christ we have the privilege of sharing in the joys and burdens of others in Christ.
1Co 12:26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
When our joy is rooted in God's righteousness and truth, then I believe we are doing what Paul instructs us in verse 15. Sure it is cool when someone buys something nice or finds a new job or even gets into a relationship that makes them happy... And I believe it is probably just fine to find some pleasure in the things God has given us the ability to acquire, but when Paul calls us to rejoice with others I truly believe his intent is for us to rejoice in the things of God for the purpose of uniting the body and glorifying Christ in all things.
1Co 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;