Proverbs 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles.
Isaiah 3:9 The look on their faces testifies against them, and like Sodom, they flaunt their sin; they do not conceal it. Woe to them, for they have brought disaster on themselves. When disaster comes upon an enemy, politician, celebrity, or leader as a result of their destructive behavior, and the mess they caused brings the wrath of the world down upon themselves, then we need to be very careful about our joy and gloating concerning this person’s fall from grace. The world media may be dumping hateful remarks twenty-four-seven on this fallen pariah, however, we Christians should remember to watch our step, less our schadenfreude starts to show. Prov. 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, 18 or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.
When another person’s bad fortune secretly makes you feel good, then your schadenfreude is showing. We all have to keep this type of self-righteous envy under control, or we may become a victim of our own disaster. Prov 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy? As a society, have we not grown beyond the need of locking someone up with stocks and pillory in a public square, then shamefully abusing them to the point of humiliation?
We use terms like, “It was poetic justice that got them, or what goes around comes around.” Many people rationalize their cheap shots and remarks. However, we should remember, “If not for the grace of God there go I.” Plus, poetic justice, will not be enough justice for some, as they will want justice that brings personal satisfaction, and that satisfaction is a bottomless pit that can never be satisfied.
We have just come through a federal election in Canada. The vitriol expressed among the candidates was the normal disingenuous rhetoric that is normally heard in elections. However, it was disheartening to see the venomous lashing out, and fulminating anger coming out of the Canadian voters. I am concerned about the heart of who we are as a people. I may not want a certain candidate to win their electoral seat, but I do not wish destructive failure upon them as a parent, grandparent, spouse, or fellow citizen of this country.
Even though these elected members have a national responsibility throughout our country, they also have the same rights that we all enjoy and live by. What they may not have, is someone praying for them, and that is our mandate as Christians living in this free dominion. We are to pray for our leader’s hearts and conscience to be responsive to the will of God. 1 Tim. 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. Please notice. The above verse does not guarantee that there will be peace in the land, but it does say, if I pray for my leaders, I will live peacefully.
Posting hate and violent intentions through all the media platforms after the fact, as in, (Hey, the election is over and determined) is not going to get the work that needs doing – done. Making death threats, smashing, and defacing candidates’ offices with derogatory slurs, then bragging about it, will only bring self-destruction on the ones acting out in this mob mentality. The upshot for these thugs is that the very freedom they are upset about losing – they end up losing through incarceration. Prov. 26:27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.
We need to gather our God-given emotions and bring them into line with the will of our God. When our schadenfreude is showing, and we are delighted and feel good at the misfortune of another human being, it makes us an ugly people. We shout, scream, and have fun when our sports team wins against a rival team we do not like. However, we do not jump for joy when a player on either team is physically hurt or ruined from the sport for life. Hopefully, we have not fallen so low in our souls to make this place of existence our default setting in life.
The law of God is love. In this loveless world, this commandment from God can be difficult to live up to. This is why we need His grace to help us love the unlovable. If you have been enjoying the fall of someone you feel deserves everything they got. Then ask God to show you what you deserved before Christ saved your soul. The Lord does not sit back and enjoy the fallen state and mess we find ourselves in. God gave His Son to free us from the pranger, stock, or pillory the enemy of our soul had us shackled to. If Christ did this for us, then we too can try and do it for others. Prov 28:9 Anyone who turns his ear away from hearing the law — even his prayer is detestable.
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Good advice Norm! Thank you for sharing this. You are right: sarcasm and criticism will benefit no one. Prayers for our country and our leaders will be more effective. God is listening.
Such a good and timely reminder for us all, both personally and politically. It has been a disappointment(to say the least)to be in the midst of division in America since our 2016 election, and see the examples of this play out on all social media platforms and in personal relationships. Too often we all forget God is on the throne! He gave all.