Do not enter the gate of My people in the day of their disaster. Yes, you – do not gloat over their misery in the day of their disaster and do not appropriate their possessions in the day of their disaster. Do not stand at the crossroads to cut off their fugitives, and do not hand over their survivors in the day of distress. Obadiah 1:13-14 HCSB
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “gloating” as “To show in an improper or selfish way that you are happy with your own success or another person’s failure.” Many times we see gloating exhibited in sporting events when one team or person makes a score or a great play and then “rubs it in” by grinning in the face of their opponent or even making a derogatory comment. Often these players are then penalized for their unsportsman-like conduct.
We should not rejoice at the misfortune of another person. Our reaction should be one that Christ would have – one of compassion and love. The Edomites were rejoicing because the people of Judah were being defeated and humiliated. Not only did they rejoice, they even helped the enemy by blocking the way of escape and delivering them to the invaders as slaves.
Challenge: Do you gloat when you get a promotion or recognition at work that your fellow employee wanted? Do you gloat when a fellow employee gets fired or reprimanded? Do you get a sense of pleasure when someone seems to get what they deserved when they get caught doing something inappropriate or illegal? In every situation we should ask – “What would Jesus do?” Instead of gloating, reach out and minister to those who are hurting. As Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44