Celebrating the Success of Others

Daily Devotional: Day 165

“So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.” Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?” (1 Samuel 18:7-8, NKJV). 

At a time when victory seemed impossible, David led Israel’s army to defeat Goliath and the Philistines. From an unknown shepherd boy, David suddenly found himself in the limelight. Look at today’s Scripture reading. It sums up David’s rise to fame. The victory over the Philistines led to spontaneous celebration nationwide.

Everything was fine up to this point, until some women got David in trouble. They started comparing David with King Saul. Saul, the women sang, had slain thousands; but David, they gleefully chanted, had slain ten thousands. King Saul didn’t take it well. Feeling threatened by David, he sought every opportunity to destroy him. In reality, David was no threat to Saul; he was, rather, a blessing to Saul. But, overcome by envy and insecurity, Saul failed to see David as a friend, an ally and a blessing from God. The more Saul persecuted David, the smaller he (Saul) became; and the more David prospered.

About two weeks ago, I was speaking with a dear brother in Christ. He said to me that a certain preacher once said, “If you see that your neighbor has been blessed, rejoice; for it means that God is in the neighborhood.”

When you see that someone is blessed, celebrate their success and be happy for them. Let the Christ character take over your response. Your relative or friend has landed a great job; celebrate him. Your neighbor has gained admission to a great program; celebrate him. Your neighbors are blessed with children; celebrate them. Your neighbor is blessed with a beautiful house; be happy for him. Your neighbor is highly talented; be happy for her. Your neighbor is blessed with a beautiful body; be happy for her. Your neighbor is prospering; celebrate him. When you celebrate the success of others, you’re displaying maturity and godliness. Sooner or later, others will be celebrating you.

But when you envy others, it makes you small, insecure, bitter, and blind to the opportunities around you. Because of envy and bitterness, Saul pushed away a man who could have been a great friend, advisor and difference-maker. Greatness isn’t always about what you personally achieve, but also your ability to recognize greatness in others, attract and retain such people and celebrate the blessing upon them. When someone in your life is blessed, make him your friend, not your enemy; make him your ally, not your rival. Count yourself blessed when God brings into your life successful people.

May the Lord make you successful through His grace. Amen.

For further study: Matthew 2:1-20