Rejoice with those who Rejoice, Weep with those who Weep

Today’s Scriptures  After Friday’s post about jealousy and envy, I am even more aware of the fact that I have to keep diligent about my battle and use God’s direction and scripture to fight this struggle.  And I can’t just read these verses every now and then.  I really have to commit them to memory, meditate and ponder on them at least weekly, if not daily.  Many of these verses I use so often now, that I can easily recall them when I need them most, in my moments of weakness.  I’m not saying I have this sin battle all figured out or I am always making the right choices, but it is very helpful to call upon the Word in my time of need.  These ten verses give me plenty to work on in my own life!

Philippians 4:8, ESV, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

1 Peter 2:1, ESV, “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.” (emphasis mine)

Proverbs 17:17, NIV, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (emphasis mine)

Philippians 2:3-4, NIV, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Proverbs 4:24, NIV, “Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk from your lips.”

Titus 2:3, NIV, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.” (emphasis mine)

1 Corinthians 3:3, NIV, “You are still worldly.  For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?  Are you not acting like mere men?”

James 3:14, NIV, “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.”

Proverbs 14:30, NIV, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

Romans 12:15, ESV, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

Food for Thought  I really want to talk about these words in Romans 12:15 for a moment.  I seem to have no problem with the “weep with those who weep” portion of this verse.  When I see friends or my sisters in Christ struggling, I struggle with them.  When they are hurting, I hurt for them.  When they face heartache, my heart aches, too.  When they weep, I frequently weep as well.  This weeping may be for a friend battling cancer or terminal illness.  It may be for a colleague going through a divorce following infidelity.  It may be a sister dealing with depression and anxiety.  Maybe it’s knowing the difficulty a family is having with their child or the struggle they’re having to pay the bills.  It can be as common as going through a low period in life with mood and faith.  Or it can be the rare tragedy of a friend losing her spouse.  Sometimes I weep just because I see them hurting and I wish I could make their pain go away.  Sometimes the weeping is from frustration, knowing I want to help them but I don’t know how or what to do.  The point is, when we care for those around us, we want to take away their hurt, and when we can’t, we are sad with them and for them.  No true friend would ever want to see those around them going through difficult times.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice” is the part I’m working on committing to my brain when I have feelings of jealousy and envy sneaking up inside my heart and mind.  First Peter 2:1 is about as clear as any Bible text can be when it says to “put away…envy.”  Yes, Robin, that means GET RID OF IT.  NOW!  But even with those clear and concise words, I still find myself struggling.  So I pull from more verses.  And Romans 12:15 works quite nicely here.  Rejoice with those who rejoice…be happy for others…celebrate with them when they have good fortune.  Don’t be jealous of what they have or what they are experiencing, but offer thanksgiving on their behalf.  Be a blessing to their lives by expressing joy for their gain, treating them as I would wish to be treated if by chance the roles were reversed.

Just as we don’t want to see our friends hurting or going through trials, we should want to see them happy and experiencing the wonderful side of life.  I need to take my own advice here, but maybe it helps you too.  Congratulate them.  Praise God with them.  “Like” their posts.  Ask questions about their trips or experiences that have brought them joy.  Say, “I’m so happy for you,” and mean it.  Wish them the best with their new adventures.  Thank God for them.  Ask for His continued blessings for your friends and peers.  Through these acts of rejoicing with those who are rejoicing, you are securing your relationship with them, and with God.  Is there really any way you or I can lose with that type of outcome?

Suggested Reading  Bible Verses for Overcoming Jealousy, a post by Michael Krauzer on the Patheos website (another perspective)


Today’s Recipe is one of my favorite comfort foods from childhood.  I grew up eating Swedish meatballs, my mom’s version of the dish, which was often served on white rice and the gravy was rich and thick.  Mmmmmm, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it!  So today, I’m going to share my spin on the classic Swedish meatballs based off my mom’s homey recipe.  Feel free to serve on mashed potatoes or egg noodles, instead of the rice, for variation.

Swedish Meatballs
Classic meatball flavor, with onion soup mix, in a rich and tangy gravy.

 

Swedish Meatballs and Rice (serves 4)

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 pkg onion soup mix
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 5 TBS butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups instant white rice, prepared according to package directions

 

In large bowl combine beef, bread crumbs, soup mix, spices and egg.  In large cast iron skillet heat olive oil and ONE tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat until melted.  Shape the meat mixture into 12 large meatballs, about the size of walnuts.  Place in pan, without crowding, and brown on all sides.  Reduce heat to medium and finish cooking meatballs through.  Remove meatballs to separate plate.  In same skillet, melt remaining four tablespoons of butter.  Whisk in flour, being sure to scrape up all brown bits from bottom of skillet.  Whisk in beef broth, one cup at a time.  Add cream, Worcestershire, and Dijon, whisking until well combined.  Turn off heat and allow gravy to thicken slightly.  Taste, and season with salt and pepper as desired.  Place meatballs back into skillet, slowly turning so they become coated with gravy and warmed through.  Serve meatballs over rice, with additional gravy.

 

 

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