Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice,
lest the Lord see it, and be displeased,
and turn his wrath away from him.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, or if you know me, you know I’m a pretty big Ohio State Buckeyes fan. And if you know anything about college sports, the you know that the biggest rivalry in all of college football is Ohio State vs. Michigan. One of my favorite things to say is: “I root for Ohio State and whoever’s playing Michigan.” The teams have spoiled each others chances at a national championship or a trip to the Rose Bowl on more than one occasion.
There is some deep rooted dislike of that team up north. Especially for those who are true Buckeyes fans in the state of Ohio. For those who are true Buckeyes, you know not to joke about Michigan. It’s serious. It’s so serious most of the time we don’t even use their name, they’re “that team up north.”
So, every time Ohio State does well, the icing on the cake is if that team up north does poorly. And if the Buckeyes lose, there’s always the hope that the team up north lost. Because even if you lose, it’s good news that they lost. I guess you could say we rejoice when they lose. Actually there’s no guessing. We absolutely rejoice when they lose!
Contrast that with my mom. She’s a wonderful woman. And she roots for the Buckeyes. But, she is a mother. And when a player gets hurt, it bothers her. And she has a hard time watching the post-game coverage and seeing the faces of the losing team. She likes watching the Buckeyes win, but it bothers her to see anyone lose. The rest of us in the house are laughing as the tears roll down their cheeks. Mom is about to cry for them as they lose while the rest of us are calling the players on the losing team sucka’s.
While this may be harmless when it comes to college football, (and none of us would be brave enough to call a 6′ 7″ 300lb Defensive tackle a sucka to his face) when we do this in real life, God has a problem with it. And that might be hard for you to understand. Unless your my mom.
To God, (and my mom) the losers aren’t just a statistic in a Win/Loss column. They are people with souls. And while the good guys may have one, certainly God’s heart breaks at the evil in the heart of your enemy that causes him to lose. Sure, God will rejoice with you one of His children. But it must also break His heart to see another of His children struggling.
Perhaps we all need a little more mom and a little less sucka.