Paul continues his letter to the church at Rome, instructing us on living out our faith. God’s gift of justification by faith, His deliverance from the power of sin which had ruled us, and His provision of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us has made possible the living of a whole new life with Jesus; and, in this chapter, Paul continues to describe what that looks like in everyday interactions.“Be happy with those who are happy,” Paul writes, “and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15 NLT
Once again, Jesus is the supreme example of sharing the joys and sorrows of others. Throughout the Gospels, we find Him “moved with compassion” by the troubles of others. He had, it is true, the divine power to heal their diseases, to raise their dead, to give sight to the blind, to release the demon possessed; and He did so at every opportunity, where He was not blocked by their unbelief. But at the moment that His healing power went forth, we find Him in the midst of the crowds, surrounded by the desperately needy, touching them, speaking to them, healing them. He shared their environment, He had compassion, and He healed them.
As human beings, one of our deep desires is for someone to listen with compassion, to share our great joys, to share our deep sorrows. For someone to set aside their own life for a moment; to give you their undivided attention; to genuinely rejoice with you in your great joy; or to mingle their tears with you in your sadness– this is one of the greatest gifts a person can receive. And Paul here instructs us to give this gift generously to one another. The gift of solidarity, of shared joy or shared sorrow cannot be valued by any material measure. It is yet another of the priceless gifts of God to us, one that He wants us to share with one another.