“Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice.” Proverbs 24:17
We’ve all seen it happen; someones sin caught up with them and they suffer the consequences of bad choices. Their heartache and shame is multiplied by seeing and experiencing others scorn, mocking, heartless comments and loss of friends.
Maybe that someone was you.
You regret your actions. Your heart is broken. You long for healing, acceptance, understanding or a kind encouraging word. But, you don’t get one. Instead, people whom you deemed respectable are not willing to pray for or with you, but would rather stand there and beat you up with their loud accusing words. In fact, you receive a letter from a dear friend denouncing you as her friend and she can no longer associate with you. Family doesn’t let you forget the error of your ways, constantly reminding you of what you’ve done, even years later.
Or, maybe you’re the one who openly scorned and rejoiced at someone broken.
You thought or said things like ‘serves them right for making stupid mistakes. Nope! I don’t pity them at all.’ You took on a better than thou attitude. You may have even said terrible things to their face, if not to others of like mind. You stash this information away to be used against the fallen at a later date, when you may need to humiliate them.
Shame on you. Simply shame on you. You do this while claiming Christianity, but you harden your heart, displaying nothing of what Jesus did for you.
“…do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove,…” Proverbs 24:17-18
“The Lord disapproves of and is able to humble the proud.” (Dan.4:37)
If you’ve experienced being brought to your knees due to sin and disobedience, you eventually come to a place where you can be thankful for the shower of God’s fierce disapproval. But, walking through that time is not easy. Maybe, at that time we vowed to never deal harshly with the broken, yet how easily we forget. Life moves on and we see others doing worse things than we’ve done in a long time and we deem ourselves better, taking on the finger pointing attitude.
Seriously, who do we think we are? Only God can repay those who do evil, whether we are the ones broken or the the ones dishing out the scorn.
“Do not be proud, but willing to associate with people of low position.” Romans 12:16
Yes, I know this verse means to be willing to help the poor. But, ‘of low position’ is exactly where we are when we are broken. Poor and weak in spirit, because of our sin.
Let’s be more willing to associate lovingly with those in humbled positions, remembering Jesus loved us in all our brokenness. May we be more willing to extend grace to those fallen, even when the consequences of their actions is what we had foreseen. We needed Jesus in our low, humbled position. Let’s show His kind of love to those who need Him now.