“Be happy with those who are happy … “ Romans 12:15 (CEB). This word of God goes directly against what I want to do as a human being. My natural reaction when I see that something good happens to others is to be jealous, and then to complain and feel sorry for myself. “Why don’t I have what my friend has? Don’t I deserve something good too? Maybe I’m just not good enough. It’s just not fair.” Even if I don’t say it out loud, I am thinking it and it is in my spirit. Then I am certainly not happy.
What can I do about this? Do I have to keep on thinking like that? The good news is that I can completely stop thinking these kind of things! When I see or hear something and it feels like all these jealous and selfish thoughts are floating towards me like dark clouds, I must judge these thoughts, and see them for what they are - they are temptations to sin.
Then I can simply say, “No! I’m not going to agree with these thoughts and believe them! God’s Word does not agree with them. And they don’t make me happy either. Why would I keep listening to them?”
After I have said no, I also have some powerful weapons to drive these thoughts far away. I can pray to Jesus, “Help me not to listen and give in to these thoughts!” Even if they sound true or right according to my own human understanding. Jesus is a mighty Helper in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16.)
God also helps me to get rid of these dark thoughts by giving me His Word. “Be happy with those who are happy …“ Romans 12:15 (CEB). “Love is not jealous …” 1 Corinthians 13:4 (ICB). “Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have.” Hebrews 13:5 (CSB). I must just hold fast to these words and keep on saying “no” to these thoughts, then the thoughts will not rule over me!
Read more here: How to take every thought captive
God’s Word also gives me power to start thinking good thoughts, away from the selfishness in my human nature where I only think about myself. I can start thanking God for my friends and how He has blessed them. In my heart I love them, and I want to keep on loving them! I once heard that it’s impossible to think badly about someone you are praying for. I believe the same is true here – I can’t be jealous of someone I’m praying for! I can also thank God for all that He has given me. If I think back a bit, it’s clear that God really cares for me, He follows along with everything that is happening in my life, and He gives me exactly what I need so that I can get free from all these sins, which is what I want most. I have every reason to be full of thankfulness and chase all dissatisfied thoughts far away!
In the end the temptation loses its power and I have kept my joy. If I keep on like this, it will become easier and easier to be happy with those who are happy. As time goes on, I will begin to do it naturally. If I am only happy when something good happens to me, but become unhappy when something good happens to someone else, then I will have very little joy in life. But if I can be happy with everyone who is happy – just think how much more joy that is! And how much happier I will be!