I call this a needed reminder because I see it as a behavior we constantly need to keep working on. At first glance it seems obvious, but upon further reflection, I'm sure you will agree with me that most of us are not conscientious enough to enter into the joys of others.
I have taught repeatedly that we should rejoice with those who rejoice. The Bible instructs to do so, and yet our daily living — our daily pace — our adapting to the culture around us, causes us to overlook the Bible teaching. Consider this example:
A good friend's son recently achieved a measure of greatness in music by winning an international competition. I asked this friend, a college professor, if he planned to share this great news with his departmental colleagues. “No, probably not," he replied.
"Why not?" I asked in surprise. His exact answer I do not remember, but the gist of it was that he knew, by past experience, that they would not listen, and he would feel hurt by their indifference. With their care-less-ness, they would tarnish this great moment he was carrying like a treasure. So it was better to keep it to himself than to share it.
It is a rare and delicious experience when our great news is really listened to by another. What a treat when that unique person enters our excitement and, in even a small way, seems to capture what it means to us — listening, smiling, asking leading questions, making eye contact, maintaining a high level of energetic involvement, pats on the back ...
So, dear friends, I beseech you — work on this. Today. And again tomorrow.