Nothing makes a person sparkle more than demonstrating true friendship to another person. What is true friendship?
I think one verse in the Bible sums it up pretty well:
Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
You know, we’re pretty good at weeping with those who weep. We have a natural urge to comfort those who are sad and going through a hard time. And that is good, for certain!
I’m not minimizing the wonderfulness (is that a word?) of having friends coming along side through a hard time.
But the more difficult thing to do, I believe, is the other part of this exhortation, “rejoice with those who rejoice.”
It could be said that our love for a person is measured in how able we are to feel joy in our hearts at his or her good fortune.
I think my most difficult time of putting this to practice was when I had two children with special needs. There I would sit with them at the park, while the other kids were playing on the play ground. And there we would be at home, when everyone else got invited to the birthday parties. And my friends would talk about all their kids’ achievements, and meanwhile, my heart was breaking that our children were not able to express their gifts in the same way because of their disability.
And it was during those times when God nudged my heart and reminded me that I needed to choose to rejoice with my friends, though my sadness wanted to keep me from doing so. And on those occasions when I would choose to do that, I found that it really wasn’t that hard to do after all. My mouth would speak words of rejoicing for them, and my heart would follow, by God’s grace.
So let’s choose to rejoice with our friends in their good times, just as we weep with them in their hard times. Both are important, and how a friend sparkles to us when they share our joy!