I didn’t plan to skip a week on my Live Like it Matters Challenge but the busyness of getting ready for an estate sale kept me from me posting one last week.

Last night I thought over and over again about what challenge I would issue this week, then I remembered a recent conversation with a friend and it hit me.

This friend shared some good news with me. She just landed a great job that will mean a significant salary increase and an easier schedule. I told her how happy I was for her. Then she told me how happy it made her that I was happy for her. FullSizeRender (27)

Hopefully we’ve all experienced someone being genuinely happy for us when good things happen. Unfortunately we’ve probably also experienced another reaction. Instead of sharing in our happiness, we may sense disappointment, jealousy or indifference from the other person.

Let me add this. If you’ve made a quick decision about something important such as quitting a good job to audition for American Idol even though you’ve never even hummed a tune in front of another human being, or marrying someone you’ve known for three weeks, expect some push-back from those that care for you. That’s love and concern. The happiness from others may take some time to be revealed. They might wait to see how it turns out first. That’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about when your friend loses 50 pounds and she’s worked her butt off making it happen. Don’t be jealous. Be happy for her.

Or when you find out your neighbors are building a huge house and will be moving in soon. Don’t let your heart be filled with envy. Be happy for them.

Or when your co-worker was promoted to the position you really wanted. Yes, it hurts. Still, be happy for him.

Don’t assume that your friends or family or coworkers know you’re happy for them when they share good news.

Tell them. Say the words, “I’m so happy for you”. And if you’re not happy for them………figure out why. It’s normal for a first reaction to be disappointment or even a bit of jealousy in some situations. You can be disappointed you didn’t get the promotion and still be happy for the guy who did. But if it’s been 6 months and you can’t get past it; find out why. This isn’t a counseling session so I won’t go there but if you have a hard time sharing in others’ happiness, you won’t be happy. You just won’t.

This week, when a good thing happens to someone tell them you’re happy for them. Even if you’re not at first tell them anyway. Then work on being happy for them. Because it matters.

And we’re learning to live like it matters.

Happiness makes a person smile, but sadness can break a person’s spirit.  Proverbs 15:13 NCV