I am a sports fan. I listen to Sport Talk radio the way most holier-than-thou folks listen to Christian Pop. In the morning, Mike and Mike come on (so much that my son has "Mi-Mi" as part of his small but growing vocabulary). And last night the Miami Heat won the NBA title with LeBron James winning the MVP award.
And the haters are out.
It's astonishing to see the vitriol that comes out, the denigration... or even the attempts at denigration. "He's not as good a Jordan." Wow... there's an insult... "You sir, half way through your career, have not proved yourself better than the consensus best player ever."
But there's that desire to... drop down and put the fellow in his place. There's that vitriolic reaction. And this isn't just an Oklahoma thing (where the Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the finals last year)... there is almost a reaction against his success.
I just think he's a fabulous player.
So - why all this sports blah blah blah when I haven't written here in so long?
Consider how you approach your neighbor. Are you constantly trying to put him in his place? Do you denigrate his success (it's only luck, he has friends who helped him, whatever other excuses you give) -- or do you delight and rejoice in his successes. Even if he is your enemy? Even if he gets the job you wanted, the promotion you were seeking, the praise you were craving?
Are we used to rejoicing with and for our neighbor anymore?
I don't think so. I think in our culture the Haters have it... and we are all the much more bitter and dour for it.
And its so unneeded -- there's blessings and joys enough to go around -- be content with yours and rejoice in the ones God permits your neighbor - indeed, help them to rejoice in them.
Which is basically the point of 2nd table of the Law according to Luther's Small Catechism.
Something to ponder, something about which to repent. Thanks be to God that Christ does not hate His brothers who were His enemies, but rather dies and rises for them!