Gloating defined: To feel or express great, often malicious, pleasure or self-satisfaction:
When was the last time you had great pleasure and self-satisfaction over someone else’s pain?
I wish I could say that since I became a Christian (in the 5th grade) I’ve never gloated, but of course, that would be a lie. Today’s reading made it very clear to me just how much the Lord hates gloating!
“Because of the violence you did to your close relatives in Israel, you will be filled with shame and destroyed forever. When they were invaded, you stood aloof, refusing to help them.
Foreign invaders carried off their wealth and cast lots to divide up Jerusalem, but you acted like one of Israel’s enemies.
- You should not have gloated when they exiled your relatives to distant lands.
- You should not have rejoiced when the people of Judah suffered such misfortune.
- You should not have spoken arrogantly in that terrible time of trouble.
- You should not have plundered the land of Israel when they were suffering such calamity.
- You should not have gloated over their destruction when they were suffering such calamity.
- You should not have seized their wealth when they were suffering such calamity.
- You should not have stood at the crossroads, killing those who tried to escape.
- You should not have captured the survivors and handed them over in their terrible time of trouble. –Obadiah 1:10-14
In these verses the prophet Obadiah was talking to the Edomites. Remember the story of Jacob and Esau? The Edomites were the descendants of Esau and they were really mad about the whole birthright thing (Genesis 25:19-34). Because of this the Edomites hated the Jews (Jacobs descendants) and did their best to cause them pain and suffering whenever possible.
The more I think about this, unforgiveness is most likely at the root of our gloating. I know that most of the “gloating” I’ve done has been wrapped up in anger, hurt and unforgiveness. It was true of the Edomites as well, they never really forgave Jacob for stealing their birthright and blessing. No matter how unfair it is, we have to forgive. Forgiveness is a process and the way you know you’ve truly forgiven is when you have the opportunity to gloat and you don’t!
(For more help with unforgiveness read The Phases of Forgiveness)
Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I’ve enjoyed the pain of others. Shine a light on my heart and make me clean. Lord, help me to forgive quickly and totally. Help me to give grace to others as You have given it to me.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 42:1-44:30; Ezekiel 33:21-33