Proverbs 24:17-18 — 17 Don’t laugh when your enemy falls; don’t crow over his collapse. 18 God might see, and become very provoked, and then take pity on his plight (MSG).
Enemies are anyone who you believe opposes your ideals, beliefs, goals, family, etc. If someone is not in agreement with you in a certain area, then he or she opposes you in that particular area. They become your enemy, and it’s only natural to rejoice when such a person falls.
In competitive sports, it’s engrained into the athletes by their coaches to do everything possible to take opposing teams down. When victory is achieved, it is not uncommon to see the winning team jumping around embracing one another. While this type of demonstration can escalate and get out of hand from time to time, there is nothing wrong with celebrating victories if it is done tastefully and respectfully.
Unfortunately, many people are bad sports, and bad sports are not always on losing teams. Many winners have poor character and bad attitudes. Whether in sports, the corporate world, or life in general, gloating over the fall of an enemy is never appropriate. Hurling insults and bragging are not actions that please God. He wants us to be victorious, but it does not bring Him joy when anyone falls—enemy or not.
When someone who opposes you fails, recall a time when you were down. How did you feel? What did you need? Did someone rub it in your face? If you begin to think this way, you will not laugh or crow over the collapse of your enemies.
It is important for you to keep in mind that everyone has the potential to recover from a fall, and God may want to use you to aid in that process for someone else. You also need to understand not everyone who opposes you is your enemy. I challenge you today to be a good sport. Win honorably; lose graciously.
James 4:16 — But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil (NASB).
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