Today’s Scripture: Exodus 18:5-11; Romans 12:15
Some people consider their in-laws as out-laws. And some in-laws are deserving of such a title. One man said the first time he went to his girlfriend’s home to meet her parents, they had placed a lone chair in the middle of the dining room with a spotlight shining down from the ceiling. As the young man sat in hot seat, the girl’s parents “grilled” him with questions about his intentions with their daughter. Another guy said his father-in-law offered to pay him to “go on a mission” if he’d quit dating their daughter. He went on to say that they don’t have one wedding picture of his in-laws smiling.
Fortunately for Moses, he and his father-in-law had a great relationship. Some time prior to this visit, Moses had sent his wife Zipporah and their sons back to stay with her father for a time. Some think he did this possibly to keep his wife and children out of danger as he led the Israelites through the desert. Now Jethro was returning them to Moses, and he planned to spend some time with his son-in-law. When the two men met, they warmly greeted each other and Moses shared in detail what the Lord had done for him and the Israelites. His father-in-law listened and affirmed.
Keep in mind that Jethro was a priest of Midian. He was not a Jew. Yet after hearing the awesome things the Lord had done, he acknowledged the Lord’s greatness and offered burnt offerings and sacrifices to the God of the Hebrews.
Jethro modeled two key qualities that we should all possess—he listened without criticism, and he affirmed with sincerity. More than that, he celebrated something he didn’t even experience himself. Paul instructed us to “rejoice with those who rejoice.” Whether or not the other person’s success involves us, we need to step aside and allow them their moment in the spotlight. Rejoicing together is a beautiful display of harmony.
- How easy/difficult is it for you to celebrate other people’s victories that you had nothing to do with?