Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice.
~Proverbs 24:17, NIV
Gloating is the celebration of unrighteous anger.
Have you ever read a passage or verse and then thought to yourself, “I am innocent.” When I think of gloating, the image that comes to mind is a football player taunting his opponent which is an unsportsmanlike penalty. It has no place in the game and is repulsive to me. When I read Proverbs 24:17 this morning, I thought to myself, “thank goodness, I’ve finally found a verse that doesn’t convict me because I do not gloat.” Within seconds, a little voice said, “Are you sure about that?” The truth is, I try to hide my gloating because I know it is unbecoming. Down deep in my soul, I have had some pleasure in the failure of others. There are folks that I have wanted to fail. There may not be many but one is all it takes to make us guilty.
The very next verse in the Proverbs tells us that God is not pleased when we gloat over the failure of others. I guess it would be like a father having one child gloat over the failure of another. God is the ultimate referee and it is a foul to gloat–it is unchristlike conduct. Jesus never celebrated the failure of His enemies. He knew that the Jews would reject Him and have Him crucified but before entering the city, He wept over their unbelief. He knew the destruction of Jerusalem was coming but He never gloated. He knew that they very city and people who abused Him would be utterly humiliated by the Romans just a few years later but He did not celebrate their demise.
When our enemy falls and we are tempted to celebrate their failure; let us remember 1 Corinthians 10:12, So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! Jesus got joy, not from our failure but through the sorrow He experienced to save us from our failure.
One sin I did not confess above relates to college football. I have celebrated the defeat of teams I don’t particularly like, if you know what I mean. I don’t know if it is a sin or not but I do know I am guilty.
This is day 45 of the Covid-19 government intervention and I hope one of the last ones. It is a beautiful day and I am looking forward to wearing one of my fat boy shirts. I wore one three weeks ago and like to have froze.
I hope you have a great day and remember: someone near you will be having drive in church. You don’t have to dress up; just load up and go. We will begin at 10:15 at Grace Point. Have a great day!