Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice. (Proverbs 24:17)
There was a time in my career when I worked for a very difficult man. I spent many unhappy days in that job because of the way he treated me and others. After about a year, God revealed to me that I had great malice in my heart toward him.
I certainly had never thought of myself as a malicious person, but there it was all over my heart: dirty, ugly malice. I wanted bad things to happen to him. I dreamed about him making some gigantic mistake and being fired. I wished and hoped he would get his "comeuppance." That is malice.
Years later after we had both left that company, I heard of some stumbles he had made. I guess you could say he got what was coming to him. What goes around comes around, and all that. But, by God's grace, I had gotten rid of that malice toward him, and I was very saddened to hear that things were not going well for him. It brought no satisfaction or joy to learn that he had stumbled.
We should never gloat over someone else's misfortune, even if they brought it on themselves. 1 Corinthians 13:6 reminds us that "love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." Dig deep in your heart today and see if there is any malice hiding there. If so, get it cleaned out fast and let God's love fill your heart instead.
To be aware of any attitude of gloating over someone else's troubles, or wishing they would get what's coming to them.
Lord, please reveal to me any attitude of malice or gloating that you see in me. Keep me from rejoicing in evil, but rather give me a concerned heart for anyone who has stumbled.
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