VERSE OF THE DAY
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
Be at joy and happy in the bliss of joy with others who are joyful and cry in sorrows with those who weep love and support each other
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and aweep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but acondescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own bconceits.
What does it mean to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15)?
In Romans 12:1–2 Paul explains believers’ responsibilities to present their bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice, to be transformed by the renewing of the mind, and to avoid being conformed to the world. One specific way we express the transformation of a renewed mind is to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). God is great in mercy, and He intends for us to live lives that reflect that mercy. Believers should walk humbly, not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3), in part because we are all members of the body of Christ. In a sense, we are all part of each other (Romans 12:4–5)—we are family.
God has given believers various ways to express His grace to others (some call these “gifts” or “spiritual gifts”), and Paul explains how we should carefully and faithfully express His grace to each other, using the tools God has provided (Romans 12:6–8). There are some ways we can express grace uniquely—we may have certain gifts, skills, or tools that someone else might not. But then there are ways that we are all expected to express His grace to others, and Paul discusses some of those in Romans 12:9 and following, all the way through the end of Romans 15.
One way that we express God’s grace to each other is identified in Romans 12:15—we rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Paul adds an instruction that we be of the same mind with each other (Romans 12:16). If a brother or sister is rejoicing over something wonderful that has happened, we should share in that joy. We are members of the same body—we are family. We should take joy in that which brings our brothers and sisters joy.
Conversely, we need to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). There are times of sadness or heartbreak. There are times of grief, and when others are encountering those difficult times, we can come alongside them and share that burden with them. Consider how in 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17 Paul explains that, when a loved one who is in Christ dies, he or she will one day be resurrected, and we will be together with the Lord. Because of that truth, we don’t need to grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Still, there is grief. And when a brother or sister encounters grief, we shouldn’t tell him or her to “get over it” or even remind the grieving one that he or she should always rejoice (1 Thessalonians 5:16). On the contrary, Paul helps us understand we should be devoted to one another in brotherly love (Romans 12:10), and we need to weep with those who weep. While it is certainly true that we should always rejoice and that we don’t ever have a hopeless grief, we need to express grace and love and weep with those who weep.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful examples of weeping with those who weep is found in the shortest verse in the Bible—“Jesus wept” (John 11:35). When Lazarus died, Jesus traveled to Bethany with the intention of raising him from the dead. Given Christ’s knowledge, it would seem there was no reason for Him to grieve, but when He was around those who were stricken with grief, Jesus was “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (John 11:33), and He wept. In the same way, even though we know that God always designs a positive outcome for those who love Him (Romans 8:28), it is still right for us to share the burden of grief and help each other through the pains of life. To weep with those who weep is part of being family in the body of Christ.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
This verse deals with the subject of Christian empathy, not sympathy. Sympathy is subjective emotionalism, whereas empathy is the ability to objectively relate to another person’s situation. Empathy is the ability to identify with people in their problems. To love with empathy is to put oneself in the place of another. It is the ability to project oneself into the needs of another person.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice,
When we are jealous of another’s success, we cannot rejoice with him because we are in the business of comparing ourselves as being more favorable than he is. A loving person takes pleasure in another’s success. It is more difficult to emphasize with a person’s joys than his sorrows; in the first case the other person needs us, and in the other case he does not.
1 Co 12:26, And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
2 Co 2:3, My joy is the joy of you all.
weep with those who weep.
A hard heart has no compassion for those who sorrow. A loving person is not glad at the calamity of others.
Jn 11:35, Jesus wept.
The true Christian cannot be selfishly indifferent to others.
Both rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep are indications of Christian love. Envy and rivalry do not emphasize with others because those sins are self-centered. That attitude is “me against the world.” True biblical attitude is other centered.
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
We are not alone. God has given us each other to live our lives for him and get us back home to him. Along the way, we want to share each others burdens, soar on each others joys, and love each others hurts. There is no such thing as a solo Christian.
Loving Father, lead me to the people today who need their burdens lifted and their joys shared. Let me be your presence in the world of your children today. This I ask in Jesus name. Amen.
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
While misery may love company, grief tends to make us withdraw and hide. Let’s remember those who have lost loved ones, especially this time of year. Let them know how you valued their loved one and miss him or her, too. Please keep these folks in your prayers and in your social plans, as well. In addition, make this a season of true joy — affirm others by rejoicing in their blessings.
Holy God and comforting Father, please give me eyes to see and a heart to offer loving care to those around me who are grieving. During this special time of year, please use me to be a blessing to those in sorrow. In addition, dear God, help me to also encourage and support the joy of those who are rejoicing around me. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(or Inspired Babbling)
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”
I think that Paul gives us some excellent, inspired advice here about how God would like us to behave. God’s suggestions for us here will lead us to being kinder and making the world a better place. They will also help us learn to be happier and more satisfied with life and ourselves. 🙂 … You don’t get better advice than that.
The first verse seems to be basically asking us to have empathy for other people… to understand their emotion and to feel with them. I think that is an important lesson in life: to understand how to step outside ourselves and to see from other people’s perspectives. It is *so* easy to be selfish and only look at how things affect us. But if we take the step, and try to see how other people experience life, and how it feels to be in their shoes, it gives us a chance to learn to be more compassionate, more caring… to understand other people and know how to help them and get along with them.
The second verse goes further and asks us to think of each other as equals… of those other perspectives as important and as in need of expression as our own. We’re asked not to base our judgements on income, social status, title, or power… or anything else that makes us feel above each other. As we learn to see from the perspective of the poor and other “low” places as seen by society, and if we avoid assuming that people are in a certain position because of being less wise or less intelligent… or less anything, we’ll learn a lot more about them, and ourselves, and how we can get along and help each other.
The last verse asks us not to perpetuate evil… not to get “revenge” for being treated badly, and not to lash out even when someone else started it. We’re also asked to be honest… not just in our estimation, kind of skirting around the edge of the lie and being vague… but to be completely honest, from the perspective of everyone.
Today, let’s take this advice to heart. Let’s work on understanding other people, and on thinking of them as equals. Let’s promote goodness and honesty even when we encounter otherwise. Let’s make the world brighter. 🙂
What does Romans 12:15 mean?
Of all people, Christians should be masters of empathy, according to Paul. He commands those who are in Christ to be submissive to each other even in our emotions. Nothing communicates sincere love and concern for another person more powerfully than recognizing and joining in their highs and lows. We show love by empathizing with their seasons of celebration and allowing ourselves to feel broken with them in their seasons of heartache.
Jesus Himself powerfully modeled this in John 11:33–35. He was deeply moved and wept with Mary and the others after Lazarus had died. Jesus knew He would raise Lazarus from dead, but that did not keep Him from joining in the sadness of those experiencing the loss.
Saved believers have been shown great grace by God (Romans 3:23–24), who experienced our temptations and suffering (Hebrews 4:15–16). Just as Christians, who have been shown great mercy, ought to be merciful to others (Romans 11:30–31; Ephesians 4:32), so too should they reflect God’s empathy through compassion for others.
Romans 12:9–21 is a list of numerous brief, bullet-pointed commands. Taken together, they paint a picture of what the living-sacrifice Christian life should look like. The unifying theme of the list is setting ourselves aside, to effectively love and serve the Lord, each other, and even our enemies. We must serve with enthusiasm and focus, mastering our emotions to rejoice in our future and be patient in our present. We must refuse to sink to evil’s level in taking revenge and instead overcome evil by doing good to those who harm us.
In Romans 12, Paul describes the worship of our God as becoming living sacrifices to our God, giving up seeking what we want from life and learning to know and serve what God wants. That begins with using our spiritual gifts to serve each other in the church. Paul’s list of commands describes a lifestyle of setting ourselves aside. Our goal as Christians is to love and lift each other up. We must focus our expectation on eternity and wait with patience and prayer for our Father to provide. We must refuse to sink to evil’s level, giving good to those who harm us instead of revenge