August 29, 2017 | 24 comments


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.

24 thoughts on “Schadenfreude”

  1. How interesting that you use the German word “Schadenfreude”. It is mor striking than the word “gloating”.

    Yes, like the former dear commenter mention, this reminder is timely for several political climates in the whole world. But I think the leaven of Truth is working everywhere – and divine Truth will win. So, it is important, that we stay with Love and not with “Schadenfreude” in every instance.

    Thank you, Evan, for this inspiring and loving and firm reminder today! It is very helpful.

  2. Thank you Evan. I, too, have been thnking along these lines. Each day as I listen to certain political news commentators I feel as if I am taking part in a sense of “gossip”. It is true we need to be alert and aware of what seems to be going on in the world, but we also need to stay alert to recognizing and reversing the error, and replacing that error with the truth about man as God’s creation …… not an easy task at times, but more helpful to the healing atmosphere than agreeing with the “gossip” or “Shadenfreude”. Thank you so much for sharing your daily inspiration.

  3. Thank you Evan! Anything that tempts us to leave the consciousness of love is error – whether it be about ourselves or our neighbors.

  4. Good morning Evan and commentators and readers of the blog. I loved the theme of today. Sometimes we subtly fall into that mistake. To be more attentive !! I loved Evan the part of the article that says loving the neighbor as yourself is to see what God sees in each one. How clear this is. Blessings.

  5. Thank you Evan! I love how SpiritView touches on so many topics, but the common theme is always keeping consciousness filled exclusively with God and His idea. That task takes form in so many ways and it’s helpful to have your blogs to point out the subtle ways our consciousness can become polluted with the opposite of God and His idea (i.e. error) if we’re not alert. So thanks again for helping us stay alert!

    And thanks everyone for your helpful comments too!

  6. This blog reminds me of the saying “what goes around, comes around.” We must be alert to always express love if we want to experience love in our lives.

  7. Thank you for this spiritual truth reminder so needed with today’s political climate around the world. I’m curious, Evan!. How did you come up with “Shadenfreude”?

      1. Great piece! I, too, had never heard of that word. I shared a version of what you wrote on Facebook yesterday. I think all of the scuttlebutt out there regarding politicians, and especially our president could learn something from understanding that word. Thank you so much.

  8. Schadenfreude comes from German and is really written with a “c” as second letter.
    That word is so suitable; and it is important to conquer that special error with Love and the understanding, that God loves a l l His children and governs them. The end of the daily prayer by Mary Baker Eddy helps us to pray for the world.

    Thank you again, dear Evan, that you brought up this matter her to be healed in our thinking – a wonderful lesson for us ! 🙂

  9. Thanks, Evan and all commenters. I need to be reminded of this often. Jesus tells, and Mary Baker Eddy clarifies, to come out and separate our thinking from worldly thinking. We’re encouraged to think from a Christly perspective of God’s goodness and allness. Our job at this vital moment is to drop all human reasoning and stand for Truth. It is the only thing that will have any permanent effect, and Christian Scientists are uniquely prepared to do it.
    Blessings to All!

  10. Thanks Evan for this very lovely post. In my experience I have seen that just nobody is ready to lift up someone who has done a wrong, a crime or a sin. Actually that’s the time when we need to use the Truths we learn in Science and see the perfect man of God’s creating, to use our spiritual sense and rise above the material picture. We need to see with God’s eyes and this will enable the seemingly sinful person, to come into his true identity as the perfect reflection of God. I have been able to bless a friend in this manner. Mrs Eddy also mentions in Science and Health how she was able to save a person who was sinful.
    Deeply grateful to all the lovely comments from our friends.

  11. And this applies to weather. I loved when a commentator on the radio pointed out how people come together in difficult times and the love toward everyone shines through. It was always there. Thanks for the reminder, Evan, and all of the lovely input, too!

  12. Thank you Evan. I have been gloating ever since he got into office. I really need to get to work! I have to pray for myself, the world and all the world leaders.

  13. I think there is a difference between ‘love’ and ‘like’. We can truly love someone as in divine love, yet not like them much, not interested in being a best friend.

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