Have you ever delighted in another person’s failing? Perhaps a politician you disfavor gets smeared in the press and you gloat. Or a business competitor loses a major contract and it makes you feel better, or a neighbor who slighted you in the past suffers in some way and you feel satisfaction that he deserved it? The list could go on. If so, you indulged schadenfreude!
Schadenfreude is pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune. It may feel justified from a selfish mortal point of view, but from a spiritual point of view, it’s a dark corner of mortal mind which is best to stay away from.
To succeed as a Christian healer, our thought must abound with love and compassion toward all neighbors—the good and the bad. To love thy neighbor as thyself is to see what God sees in everyone, and pray to bring it out for everyone’s benefit.
To delight in another’s misfortune is to empower evil and argue a case for evil things to happen. If we believe evil is justified for our neighbor, what kind of mental position does that leave us in when something untoward happens to us? Not a favorable one.
It’s wisest to never empower evil to hurt or harm anyone. What you know to be true about your neighbor, you are liable to accept as true about yourself.
God is Love and God is all power. God brings only good things our way and our neighbor’s way. And there is enough good to go around for everyone.
If our neighbor committed an evil that led to his misfortune, this is an opportunity to see God’s hand at work in their life lifting their thought to a better place and blessing them with the moral and spiritual insight they need to succeed and do well. We can have goodwill toward anyone, even our enemies. “Love your enemies,” Jesus wisely instructed.
To love your enemies is not to agree with evil, but to bear witness to the power of God at work in the lives of your enemies to neutralize the evil. In this way, everyone comes out in a better position, and maybe even better friends for the experience.