Sheryl Boldt

When we revel in our ‘enemy’s’ downfall

“I’m here today to apologize for the personal mistakes I’ve made and the embarrassment I’ve caused my family and community… I’m announcing my resignation from Congress…”

We’ve heard far too many speeches from politicians who found themselves in front of a microphone, confessing their transgressions because of their immoral behavior.

It’s hard not to be cynical about whether these politicians feel genuine remorse. There’s no doubt that their skeptics feel strong emotions as they observe the demise of their political enemies. But do any of these feelings include compassion or grace? Or are the cynics too busy celebrating the downfall of their rivals?

Then again, how many of us (the body of Christ) offer prayers for those who have fallen? Do we pray for God to bring healing and restoration to their lives, marriages, souls? Tragic incidents like these don’t limit themselves to national politics. We often deal with similar scenarios within our local communities and, sadly, in our churches.

What do we gain when we revel in the demise of our political enemies or social rivals? What does our giddiness at their downfall say about us? Most importantly, how does our pleasure in watching our adversaries (or fellow church or community members) squirm define us as representatives of the body of Christ?

This week, we’ll focus on the first part of 1 Corinthians 13:6 (ESV). But first, let’s read the verse in its entirety: “[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”

Though you may try to hide it, do you find yourself sometimes enjoying someone’s downfall?

If so, how can we practice compassion when others – including those we’re not crazy about – bring humiliation to themselves and their families? How can we demonstrate God’s ways and His love?

We can begin by asking God to show us the times we’ve rejoiced during another’s time of shame. Then ask His forgiveness for being unloving and invite Him to help us recognize when we’re tempted to do so again.

We could also ask our heavenly Father to give us a humble heart and help us remember how many times we’ve blown it and how much it hurt when others shamed us. How many times we, too, needed grace and mercy.

Some of our actions may, in comparison, have been worse. The words, “There but by the grace of God,” come to mind as I consider that in the right circumstances, we could be the ones who find ourselves “in front of a microphone.”

Sheryl H. Boldt, a Franklin County resident, is the author of the blog, Connect with her at

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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