REJOICING IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF OTHERS
[This talk was used as a basis for the primary lesson that John E. Enslen taught to six young primary children on Sunday, June 6, 2021.]
We can be happier and a more effective instrument in the hands of God if we develop some important life skills. These skills improve our personality and help us to be more likeable.
Scripture: “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:16)
One of the ways we can avoid envy and jealousy in our lives is to rejoice in the successes and accomplishments of others. When we realize that we are not competing with others, we can rejoice with them.
The natural man is inclined to compete and compare to his favor. For instance, say a young child gleefully reports that she has learned to ride her bicycle. A slightly older playmate retorts: “That’s nothing. I have been riding a bicycle for two years and have never taken a fall. I bet I can ride my bike a lot faster than you can.”
On the other hand, a more spiritually mature playmate might have responded in this way, rejoicing with her friend in her new accomplishment: “That’s wonderful! Great job! I knew you could do it. I hope we can go riding together soon.”
A good way to become miserable is to envy everyone else’s talents, possessions, lifestyles, positions, and accomplishments.
We all have different gifts and talents, and each of us will have our own types of successes that are different, but no less important. Knowing that fact will give us healthy feelings of self-worth.
We should enjoy our own successes in silence without boasting or flaunting. We should not take a “look-at-me” attitude about our own accomplishments. The manner in which we are viewed by others improves dramatically when our successes are naturally discovered outside of our own publication of them.
Envy is a form of pride. C. S. Lewis wrote, “It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.”
We can know we are truly rejoicing with others in their successes and accomplishments when we find ourselves willingly sharing another’s positive accomplishments and successes with others.