And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. –1 Corinthians 12:26
In this verse the church (the body) is being discussed. Do we suffer with the members of our church when they are discouraged? The exact opposite, do we rejoice with them when when they have praises?
Suffer means to hurt, ache, or to be distressed; while rejoice means to feel or show great joy or delight. It’s not a “I’m happy for you” or a “I’m feel sorry for you.” These two words suffer and rejoice mean to feel something, not just say some comforting words and move on, but to feel it. To be there experiencing the same thing that the other person is going through whether it’s good or bad.
To feel something, means that we have an emotional response to it. That could be the emotional response of sadness or happiness or somewhere in between. To feel something is not just some fleeting words we say to someone. We feel the same pain the person does, or the same joy the other person feels.
Too many times we get caught up in our busy lives to understand what others are going through, good or bad. We like to click the like button on Facebook, comment we’re praying, or some other passive sign of solidarity. The second we’re in the situation the other person is in, we want people to be crying with us or celebrating with us, but we end up disappointed when others don’t share the same emotion, even though we won’t show it for them.
When my wife is happy, I’m happy. When she is sad I’m sad. That’s because I care dearly for her. If we had more of that towards our friends and the church, how much greater would our testimonies be? How much stronger would our churches be? We’ve become so self-absorbed that if it does not bring any value to our lives we could care less.
If we want to truly help our fellow bodies of the church, instead of superficial help, and have true community with them; then we have to feel, what they feel, good or bad.