Thursday, April 6, 2017
Reading today’s title, some of you may have thought I’ll be writing about sharing the gospel, something I try to do from time to time. No, today I want to encourage you to get into the habit of sharing the good things that happen in your lives. I heard this story/joke many years ago on several occasions. Perhaps, some of you have heard it too. It is the story of the vendor who was selling his live shrimp in a village market. He had five or six canisters of shrimp from different parts of the world and each was covered with a heavy linen cloth, except one. When someone asked him why one of the canisters was open, he replied: “Oh, those are the Mexican shrimp. I don’t need to cover them. You see, when one of them tries to climb to the top, the rest of them pull it back down.” The joke was an attempt to portray people in our culture as envious of one another, never wanting for any of our own to climb the ladder of success. Nevertheless, we’ve all come to know that people everywhere are basically the same. They all have good folks and bad ones.
In back-to-back parables in the 15th Chapter of Luke, Jesus told two stories which were practically the same in nature. One involved a man who lost one of his sheep and the other about a woman who lost one of her valuable silver coins. When they were found, both of them called their friends and neighbors to come and rejoice with them. The parables rightfully imply that those who are near and dear to us will rejoice with us any time we are met with good fortune. It is not in line with the character of God’s children to be jealous or envious of one another. In describing genuine love, Paul wrote that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4) On the other hand, James wrote: “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16) Paul reminded the Corinthians that God is not the author of confusion, clearly implying the He is a God of order. (See 1 Cor. 14:33) Therefore, since envy and selfish ambition are a sign of disorder, God can’t be in it. Any child of God who still has a tendency to be jealous or envious, is either out of the will of God or else has not matured in the Lord. Paul asserted that God’s children are members of the same body. When one suffers, every other member suffers and when one is honored, every other member rejoices with it. (See I Cor. 12:26)
If you have met with good fortune, or God has done something marvelous in your life, or He has answered one of your special petitions, or met your most pressing need, I urge you to share the good news with those who are near and dear to you so they can rejoice with you. If you don’t, you will be robbing them of the blessing.
God’s word for today (Romans 12:15) “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”