Monday, August 8, 2011

Gloating - A test of character

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles." 
Proverbs 24:17

This week's loss of Military life from the same group of soldiers that caught and killed Usama Bin Laden has seen some interesting responses around facebook and twitter. There seems to be a deeper appreciation for these folks than other military who have passed on before.  My theory is that the same vitriol and celebratory nature we saw when Usama Bin Laden was killed has now extended into the recent deaths and because they came from the same group that killed UBL, there is intrinsic value to their lives not otherwise given by the masses.  I do not blame folks for this.  We connected with that group of soldiers in May, and we still feel a sense of connection with them.

Thinking back, it was so easy to look at the loss of life and denounce the celebration.  I remember saying how each life is valuable, and that while justice is required, and God has given authority to the governments of men,  we should never celebrate a loss of life.  It seemed so easy to follow Proverbs 24:17 in that moment, and I felt rather good of myself.

Such feelings are rarely safe.  God has, in recent days, directed a series of events that have lead to a small measure of my justification and my "enemy's" fall.  It is a fairly minor thing, yet I find myself fighting the man inside of me who would love to celebrate and rejoice.

No matter what stage the situation is set, or how large or small its relevance to the world, God cares what happens in your heart's response (significantly more than your outward actions).  It shows the real position of your heart toward Him.