Last night I preached on Romans 12:15-16. It’s a tremendous passage that if applied to our lives is a great barometer of our pride. Seldom do we rejoice with those that rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. In preparation for the sermon I found help from a sermon that John Piper preached on the same text. Here he lists six reasons why we might not be rejoice with those who rejoice or weep with those who weep. I thought you might benefit from them too:
- We are too wrapped up in ourselves to rejoice or weep with others. We are so self-oriented that what is happening in the hearts of others has no effect on us.
- We feel above the emotional life of the ordinary person. Children laugh. Women cry. I’m a man. Or it doesn’t have to be male arrogance. It may be merely high-brow arrogance. To laugh with them or to cry with them would put me down on their level and I have a certain refined, aristocratic, high-culture status to preserve.
- We are hypercritical and our main reaction when we see emotion is to analyze it and point out its distortions or excesses or bad tendencies or shallow roots. So our hypercritical analytical heart keeps us emotionally at a distance and prevents our hearts from empathy with others.
- We are resentful or envious they have joy and we don’t. We feel gypped, passed over, given a raw deal. So envy makes it impossible for us to rejoice in their joy.
- We are simply the kind of personality that doesn’t have a discernable emotional life. We don’t rejoice or weep over anything. And so we don’t weep or rejoice with others. It may be owing to parents. Or to a traumatic experience. Or to some physical condition.
- We may be depressed and temporarily numb in our own emotions.