"Do not gloat when your enemy falls, when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice" (Proverbs 24:17)
It never fails to amaze me when I watch a movie with an obvious "villian", that my heart begins to do a "you deserved that" dance when the good guy prevails and the villian gets his due. We are continuously told in society that "justice will prevail".
What I have discovered is that, while it is ok for justice to prevail (the robber getting caught and going to jail for stealing a car), it is not ok for people to mock and call out not so nice names to the person who did the wrong.
The word gloat means "to gaze or think with malicious pleasure" (Webster's New World Dictionary, 4th ed.). Wow. Malicious pleasure sounds so mean and evil.
When someone at work gets caught doing something unethical, do I automatically think-well, they deserve whatever punishment they get OR do I wonder, what made them make that choice? Do I pray for them and ask God to reveal Himself to them? Is my reaction simply an inward reaction or also an outward reaction so my peers also know how I feel about the situation?
How you and I respond to situations when other stumble often reveals alot about our character also. Do you show compassion, kindness, forgiveness, or gentleness toward those who have been not so kind to you?
Sometimes the best way to win someone to Christ is to show them character qualities of Christ (pray for the fruit of the spirit). Only through prayer and humility (quiet and gentle strength-->not doormat status for those who might be confused about what that word means) can any of us respond in a Godly way.
My prayer for you (and myself) is that God will help me to not gloat when an enemy stumbles or falls but to see them through the eyes of Christ. May He give each of us His perspective. What situation (work, family, or community related) do you need to lift up to Him in prayer?
In His Service and with much love,