My son is playing baseball for the first time this year. It's all new to him, but he's having a blast. And I've enjoyed watching him learn the game.
Recently, he got his first base hit. His bat hit the ball towards the shortstop, and Emerson raced to first base. He made it just in time, and was called "safe" by the umpire. Needless to say, we all cheered and rejoiced. My parents were there to see it, and they were mighty proud of their grandson too.
In the midst of our brief celebration, I noticed something. A boy on the other team was playing at first base. He knew that was my kid's first base hit, and he did something really classy. He gave my son a high five. It was a cool moment of great sportsmanship.
And it reminded me of something very important: Be happy for other people when things go their way.
If we're not careful, we can fall into negativity when other people succeed. We know this is the case when we begin to think things like...
"He doesn't deserve that promotion. I work harder than he does."
"She doesn't deserve to marry a guy like that. I know what kind of person she's been in her past."
"He doesn't deserve to be the starting pithcer. I practice way more than he does."
A better way to respond to the victories of others is to be happy for them. This requires humility and selflessness on our part. And it protects us from being miserable and in life.
Of course, another key to this is realizing we have our own blessings to be thankful for. God is good to each of us every day. He extends to us grace for our souls, forgiveness for our sins, strength for our battles, wisdom for our decisions, peace for our hearts, and assurance for our future. Keeping this in mind helps us to be more content with what we already have, and it makes it easier for us to be happy for those around us when good things happen in their lives.
Part of growing up spiritually is wanting the very best for other people. This is what Paul was saying when he wrote the following words in Philippians 2:4 - "Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too." Did you catch that? Life is about more than the person who stares back at us in the mirror. It's also about the other guy or girl who also is trying to have a good life.
That first baseman for the other team showed tremendous sportsmanship towards my boy. His happiness on the baseball diamond made life even better for Emerson. And it showed he has a good heart.
May God help us all to be happy for others when good things happen in their lives.