Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. ~ Proverbs 24: 17-18
There are some things we should not be happy about. One of them is when an enemy receives his due. I can recall as a child that it would play out this way: someone would say something mean to me, and then trip and fall on their face carrying an open can of soda. Inside, I was laughing and thinking “You got what you deserved!” Outside, I feigned pity. As an adult, I’ve had similar happenings. I’ve tried to show pity, but I’ve secretly rejoiced over my enemy’s misfortune. In some cases, I was mad at myself for feeling happy about my enemy’s downfall, but I still couldn’t deny that vindication felt good.
I’m here today to say that I needed these verses. As you can see from my above statement, I’m not very good at heeding them. I hope that I’m not the only one who loves seeing the saying, “What goes around, comes around,” come true.
But Christ has a high standard. In Matthew 5:44 says, But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That’s pretty hard to do! Only through Christ can this be achieved. The same is true of today’s verses. I can’t stop the initial, fleshly satisfaction at seeing an evil-doer receive his comeuppance, but I can keep those thoughts from remaining in my mind. I can repent of them, pray for that person and move on in my own life. If that “enemy” is a child of God, then He can take care of it without any help from me. This verse also says that being joyful over another’s calamity displeases the Lord, and I truly do not want to do that. While we should rejoice about many things in this life, the fall of our enemy is not one of them.