15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
This verse deals with the subject of Christian empathy, not sympathy. Sympathy is subjective emotionalism, whereas empathy is the ability to objectively relate to another person’s situation. Empathy is the ability to identify with people in their problems. To love with empathy is to put oneself in the place of another. It is the ability to project oneself into the needs of another person.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice,
When we are jealous of another’s success, we cannot rejoice with him because we are in the business of comparing ourselves as being more favorable than he is. A loving person takes pleasure in another’s success. It is more difficult to emphasize with a person’s joys than his sorrows; in the first case the other person needs us, and in the other case he does not.
1 Co 12:26, And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
2 Co 2:3, My joy is the joy of you all.
weep with those who weep.
A hard heart has no compassion for those who sorrow. A loving person is not glad at the calamity of others.
Jn 11:35, Jesus wept.
The true Christian cannot be selfishly indifferent to others.
Both rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep are indications of Christian love. Envy and rivalry do not emphasize with others because those sins are self-centered. That attitude is “me against the world.” True biblical attitude is other centered.