Read Romans 12:15
Share the happiness of those who are happy,the sorrow of those who are sad (JBP)
It was said of one aristocratic French woman that she was such a good friend that she would throw her acquaintances into the water in order to have the pleasure of fishing them out again. There exist,sadly,those relationships which are based on lostness and rescue. Others matter only as people to be helped,feeding our deep need to be saviours of the lives of others.
Then there are relationships which only flourish when things are going well. There are ‘fair weather’ friends who love to be around when the sun shines but desert you when the clouds roll in. Pleasures are to be shared together; pain is to be endured alone.
Our text today reminds us that we are to be sharers of both pleasure and pain. This is one mark of authentic friendship. We don’t apologise for expressing our sorrows because we know that when the time comes we will also express our happiness. We do not see others as merely those on whom we unload our problems,but we are willing to so unload and are willing to have them unload on us. Because we know that this will not be the whole story of our relationship.
Since life has its seasons,friendships have their seasons. One season will see me offering strength to someone who is weak; another season will have someone offer me strength in my weakness. A true friendship will embrace all the misery and hilarity of life,all the sadness and the gladness that constitute life this side of heaven.