In the age of social media celebrations and positive postings, it can hard for me not to be envious of other people’s “better” lives. But this thought came clearly into my mind the other day as I witnessed someone’s (real life) happiness: Do not begrudge any little bit or moment or spot of happiness you see in other people.
Even if we suspect they have more than their fair share of happiness and we have less and, therefore, we are envious, we do not know what trauma they’ve experienced, what burdens they carry, what pain they suffer in private, and what tragedy lies in store for them one day.
Parents take great joy in seeing their children delighted or laughing. It’s a vicarious joy, but a real one nonetheless. It’s as joyful to a parent to see a child happy as it is for the parent to feel an equal happiness for himself.
Make the parallel to God. He takes great joy in seeing his children have a moment of happiness. I expect He shares the happiness he witnesses. We can share in this same moment of happiness with Him and with His other children if we grant them the grace to experience as much joy as possible, without wishing we could ration it out according to our sense of justice. If we begrudge the other person the happiness we witness them experiencing, we likely don’t cause them any less happiness, but we grieve God, their Father, who is enjoying their delight. He wants us to “Rejoice with those that rejoice.” Romans 12:15. Let us share the happiness today.