Rejoicing In Their Pain

It was one of the few times I had felt some element of hatred towards someone.

Malachi 2:1-17

Reference:  v.17  You have wearied the Lord with your words.  "How have we wearied him?" you ask.  By saying, "All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them" or "Where is the God of justice?" (NIV Bible)

Explore:  A couple of years ago I felt that someone did a great wrong against me.  I was hurt, disappointed, rejected and very angry.  It was one of the few times I had felt some element of hatred towards someone.  Now, I'm not a fighter and I knew it would take a great deal of time and reconciliation for me to forgive them but I found I sought 'justice' in other ways.  I would rejoice when their football team lost a game, I would secretly be glad when they were unwell and when troubles surfaced at work I felt it was right, as they had caused trouble in my life.  I was rejoicing in their pain.  Almost a year after I had been hurt I had moved on with life and affectively swept my anger under the carpet. However I realised that I still had not forgiven this person in my heart and rejoicing when they were hurt was not the spirit of love that God had given me.  So through some troubled prayer, some difficult conversations and from grace that could only have come from God, I can now say that I have forgiven this person.  What a joy and relief it is to say that and to know that it is pleasing to God.  

Application:  Our God is a God of forgiveness.  If He did not forgive then every single person would be living in darkness.  Because our God forgives He also desires us to forgive too.  He knows it's not easy, and it may even take a great deal of time like me, but rejoicing over someone else's hurt is not His idea of justice. 

Prayer:  Lord, You have forgiven us for all our sins.  Your grace is the perfect example of how we should act towards others.  Although it is painful, bring to the surface the areas where we have not forgiven others so that we can work towards grace.  Amen. 

Do you rejoice over someone else's pain?  Is there chance for true forgiveness and reconciliation?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.