By Marlene Tavares
Be happy with those who are happy.
(Romans 12:15 NLT)
One of the keys to happiness (in my opinion) is contentment. People who are content and grateful with what they have will never be disappointed because they realize the value of what they have and appreciate it. As a result, these same people find it easy to be happy for others as well and rejoice in seeing others happy and fulfilled in their lives. They do not feel the need to put down, offend, or be jealous of what others have because they are too busy living their own fulfilled lives and want the same for others. People such as these – happy people – are the ones who reap God’s blessings.
A few years ago, I knew a girl who seemed very unhappy in life. I only knew this because of conversations we would have where she would talk to me about certain situations in her life that she felt were keeping her from achieving goals she had set for herself. After a while, I began to observe her over the course of our interactions and I noticed how she would speak about or act towards other people, people who I noticed seem to have some of the very good things going on in their lives that she desired for herself. She sometimes acted harshly and spoke unkindly of these people. That was when I made a realization. This woman is keeping herself from achieving happiness and fulfillment in her life because she cannot stand to see others with more than her. It is not that God does not care for her or that she is unworthy of achieving the same happiness others enjoy. She just simply blocks herself from reaping any good things in life because she is so busy focusing on the lives of others and what they have. She was focusing her energy on being jealous of those who she felt had it better than she did and she used it against them.
If we want to reap God’s blessings and be happy in life, we need to learn to be happy for others first. Let’s say, for example, you have been working very hard lately at your job and your goal is to get some sort of a promotion so that you can have a better status and better pay. Let’s say a friend of yours happens to get this before you do. She calls you and tells you she has just been promoted at her job and is super excited because now her life will be better both personally and professionally. How would you feel? Are you going to fake a smile and tell her, “Congratulations” with envy growing inside of you, or would you jump in excitement with her and take her out to celebrate and be sincerely happy for your hard working friend who got the promotion? Hopefully, you picked the latter. If you are a person who is generally happy and likes to see others the same way, then you probably did.
I am not saying that sometimes we can’t look at a situation like that and think, Ah! why her and not me? This is very natural. What I am saying is that we should not dwell on it and allow it to make us think less of that person, and we definitely should not wish any less for them. We all receive our blessings in different ways and at different times so there is no use in comparing ourselves to others. While you may be wishing to have what someone else has, they may be doing the very same thing about you. Instead, let us focus on all the wonderful things we do have going for us and let’s lift others up and rejoice with them in whatever makes them happy. I promise you will not only feel good, but good things will start happening for you too!
If you rejoice for others then God will rejoice in you.