“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15 ESV).
But it’s much more difficult to rejoice when someone experiences success. In fact, we sometimes feel threatened by it, and we resent it. That’s because we think the world is a giant pie that’s divided up into slices. If somebody gets a slice that’s a little bit bigger than mine, that must mean my slice is going to be smaller.
That kind of thinking is wrong. God’s got all the pie slices in the world! He doesn’t run out of blessings. He doesn’t run out of grace. There’s more than enough to go around for everybody, and just because God blesses somebody else doesn’t mean there’s not enough blessing for you, too. He wants to bless you, but it may be in different ways.
Envy keeps you from entering into the joy of other people. As a result, you don’t enjoy much that goes on in the world. Envy will make you a pretty miserable person.
This is what happened in the parable of the vineyard workers in Matthew 20. The owner hired some people at the start of the day and others later in the day, but he paid them all the same. The first workers thought they’d been cheated. Instead of enjoying their pay, they resented it.
But if you choose to rejoice in God’s goodness to others, you can be joyful all the time—because something good is always happening to somebody.