Romans 12:15 - How to Lessen Your Friends Pain.

Romans 12:15 (NIV) Rejoice with those who 
rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 

Romans 12:15 (NIRV) Be joyful with those who 
are joyful. Be sad with those who are sad. 

Romans 12:15 (NLT) Be happy with those who 
are happy, and weep with those who weep.  

Romans 12:15 (MSG) Laugh with your happy 
friends when they're happy; share tears when they're 


   Theres something interesting about 
pain and joy. Whenever you share a joy, it gets 
doubled. But its the opposite with pain. When you 
share a pain, its halved. 
   So when your friends are going through a 
crisis, they need you to help carry the load and, 
thus, lessen the pain. 
   Sharing your friends pain is not the 
same as sympathy. Sympathy says, Im sorry 
you hurt. People dont need your sympathy. 
They need your empathy. Empathy says, I hurt 
with you. Sympathy stands at a distance. 
Empathy draws close. 
   The ultimate form of love is compassion. 
Compassion says, Ill do anything I can to stop 
your hurt. 
   When you read the Bible, youll find 
that Jesus was repeatedly moved with compassion. 
He shared in peoples hurt. And, to stop 
others hurt, he was willing to do whatever he 
could, including going to the cross. Thats right 
- he was willing to die to stop your hurt. 
Thats compassion. 
   The Bible says in Romans 12:15, Laugh 
with your happy friends when theyre happy; 
share tears when theyre down (The Message). 
   What do friends do for each other? They 
show up. And when they show up and find their 
friend is sad, sometimes they sit and cry with that 
friend - they weep with those who weep. 
   Friends dont give pious platitudes. 
They dont give advice when someone isnt 
ready for it. They dont try to talk a friend 
out of his pain. They dont promise everything 
will be okay. 
   They just show up, shut up, and hurt with 
their friend. And in doing so, they lessen the 
pain and show the compassion of Christ. [Daily 
Devotional by Rick Warren: 


   We are to rejoice with those who rejoice, 
and to weep with those who weep. There are few 
bonds like that of a common sorrow. A writer tells 
of the saying of an American negro woman. A 
lady in Charleston met the negro servant of a 
neighbour. "I'm sorry to hear of your Aunt Lucy's 
death," she said. "You must miss her greatly. You 
were such friends."  "Yes'm," said the servant, 
"I is sorry she died. But we wasn't no 
friends." "Why," said the lady, "I thought you were. 
I've seen you laughing and talking together lots 
of times." "Yes'm.  That's so," came the reply. 
"We've laughed together, and we've talked together, 
but we is just 'quaintances. You see, Miss Ruth, 
we ain't never shed no tears. Folks got to cry 
together before dey is friends."  
   The bond of tears is the strongest of 
all. And yet it is much easier to weep with those 
who weep than it is to rejoice with those who 
rejoice. Long ago Chrysostom wrote on this passage: 
"It requires more of a high Christian temper to 
rejoice with them that do rejoice than to weep with 
them that weep. For this nature itself fulfils 
perfectly; and thee is none so hard-hearted as not to 
weep over him that is in calamity; but the other 
requires a very noble soul, so as not only to keep 
from envying, but even to feel pleasure with the 
person who is in esteem." It is, indeed, more 
difficult to congratulate another on his success, 
especially if his success involves disappointment to 
us, than it is to sympathize with his sorrow and 
his loss. It is only when self is dead that we 
can take as much joy in the success of others as 
in our own. [Barclay Commentary] 

   We live in a world where loss and failure 
happen to everyone. We can lose health, jobs, 
friends, finances. We need the skills to deal with 
losses rather than papering them over with "happy" 
talk. Jesus was "a man of suffering and familiar 
with pain" (Isaiah 53:3), and we need to be like 
him in dealing authentically with grief.  
   Community is essential to grieving well. 
When our friends suffer a loss, we need to be 
there with them. Otherwise, the loss can be too 
big to bear. The first thing we can do as 
friends is to provide a listening ear and a caring 
heart. Our friends need a place to say, "It was 
bad. It really hurts."  
   Henri Nouwen said, "The friend who can be 
silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, 
who can stay with us in an hour of grief and 
bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing  not 
healing, not curing  that is a friend who cares." 
   Do you know anyone who has suffered a 
loss? Offer a listening ear and your loving 
   We give our friends a tremendous gift 
when we're available to listen and mourn with 
them. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day Devotional] 


By sharing in the joy of another, we 
increase it. 
By sharing the woe of another, we diminish 
it. [Source Unknown] 


1 Corinthians 12:26 (NKJV) And if one member 
suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one 
member is honored, all the members rejoice with 


If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


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