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Rejoice with those who rejoice. Romans 12:15a

Listen: Romans 12


The first-century world was not always a hospitable place to early Jesus-followers. They were imprisoned, beaten, socially ostracized and even killed. Despite all this, Paul writes a letter to the church in Rome and tells them to rejoice with those who rejoice. Paul knows Jesus wants them to be the type of people who can celebrate something good happening to someone else. It wasn’t just a rejoice when others rejoice and things are going well for you—but a rejoice when others rejoice even if things aren’t going well for you.

When things are going poorly for us, it is difficult to rejoice for others. It is hard to celebrate a friend’s promotion if we are stuck in a dead-end job. It is hard to rejoice when our neighbor in the next apartment has her offer accepted but we have put in offers on seven houses and none have been accepted. When we rejoice with those who rejoice, we recognize God’s good work for others. We train ourselves to see the good in the world.


Continue the 21-day challenge by writing down three things you are thankful for that are good and have happened to someone else, as a way to rejoice with those who rejoice. Then write in your journal a prayer of confession like this, “God, I am so grateful for you and your love for me. I admit that there are times when it is really hard for me to be happy for other people when things are going well for them, and they aren’t for me. I know that is selfish of me. Help me see the good in those times and be able to celebrate with them instead of focusing on myself and getting upset or bitter. Thank you for loving me and forgiving me.”

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.