Be very careful as you don’t want anyone to do that to you.
All of us may experience misfortunes, some of which are intentional, and some unintentional. When misfortunes are exposed, they can result in the downfall of others. Some of us rejoice in the downfall of others, especially if they are your enemies. However, we should be very careful in rejoicing over the downfall of others. Proverbs 24:17 states “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.”
From the time I was a child up to my adulthood, I have seen too many situations in which there was rejoicing in the misfortune of others. The thing is, we do not know what tomorrow may bring. Today may be the misfortune of your enemy or someone you do not like, but tomorrow may be the misfortune of you or a close friend or family member. I don’t think any of us are exempted from experiencing misfortune therefore treat others the way you want to be treated.
Why should we not rejoice?
I know it is tempting to rejoice in the downfall of others especially if it is someone who did something wrong to you or someone who did something bad in society. However, God does not want us to take that approach and he may even punish us for this. Proverbs 17:5 says that “Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.”
Another reason why we should not rejoice is that a downfall can happen to me or you. If it does not happen directly to you, it may happen to someone close to you.
What should we do?
It is simple. Do not rejoice in the downfall of others. As soon as we hear about a calamity of someone, we call our friends and share gossip. Some of us would even go as far as saying we are happy for that misfortune.
We should learn to love others. Be compassionate and have empathy for others. Let us not pretend we care while our hearts are rejoicing. Reach out to those that experienced downfall and see how you can provide some form of encouragement.
Let us practice rejoicing when someone does something good no matter how insignificant it may appear.
Some of us rejoice more in the downfall of others than we rejoice in the rise of others. Too many of us act as if we are perfect and don’t do anything and when your sin is exposed, you want others to be quiet when you in fact were gloating over other people’s downfall. It is wrong.
As I was preparing for this article, I found myself thinking about any downfalls that I celebrated. We cannot go back and change what we did but we certainly can change how we react to future downfalls.
Some may say that downfalls can be avoided if people do what is right. Even when we do what is right, it is possible to experience misfortunes. Think about Job and Joseph.