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Question (Responses Desired)

Which is more difficult/humbling/sacrificial:

Rejoicing with others when you are experiencing personal difficulties


Mourning with others when you have great personal joy?

I have been mulling this over recently and can't make up my mind. Would love to hear your thoughts!


Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
Definitely the first is the most difficult. Having been in both situations rather recently, I can say that I usually have a much harder time rejoicing with those who rejoice when I am particularlly struggling, than I do empathizing with those in pain.
Mindy said…
The first, for sure. It's easier to be bitter and resentful when you already have negative feelings brewing from the difficulties.
Thom said…
I am much worse at the first one. But I'm pretty self-centered, all the more so when I'm struggling with things. Like Mindy said, bitterness and resentment come easy that way. But with deep personal joy comes the ability and desire to empathize and walk with others through their tough times. Love flows naturally when you have real joy. Not to say that one must always be happy to be a Christian, but joy is our real home, how we were created to be, where we discern well and love other people best.
Beth said…
all: thanks for your thoughts! my instinctive response was to side the way you have, but here's why I paused...

often, when I am full of joy, I end up feeling guilty for my joy and focus on that instead of on another's sorrow. OR i feel for them, but secretly think, "thank God it's not my life..."

both these self-centred attitudes keep me from truly empathizing with the other person.

on the flip side, however, there is no perceived guilt/arrogance in saying, "i'm really happy for you - even as i'm sad for me."

Ariana said…
I'm the opposite from most, I guess. I definitely find it more humbling to mourn with someone when I'm overwhelmingly happy myself. I love being happy for other people when I'm sad for myself—takes my mind off my own problems. And like you said, Beth, I tend to feel guilty for my own joy when others are hurting.

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