Today’s Scripture: And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 1¬†Samuel¬†18:1

Someone once said, “Success is sweetest when it happens to us-a bitter pill to swallow when it happens to others.”

Imagine being groomed for a high position your entire life only to see someone else, young and inexperienced, sweep right in and take it right from under you?

Jonathan, David’s best friend, was a prince in Israel and the heir to the throne. However, because of his father’s disobedience, God shifted his favor to another family, that of David, the obscure shepherd boy. That meant Jonathan wouldn’t become king through no fault of his own.

What was Jonathan’s response? Did he fight to regain what should have been his? Did he work to undermine David? Did he complain bitterly? No, refreshingly, Jonathan not only accepted second fiddle, but also devoted the rest of his life to encouraging and supporting David.

This type of humility is so rare, even among Christians. Very few are willing to accept a second-place role. Most want to be number one.

The truth is that everyone, even those in leadership, are called to be Jonathans at some point in their lives. We are called to support others when they have success. This is not a natural response. It is something God has to do within us.

We should cheer when our friends and even our enemies are blessed by God. We should let go of the pride that looks out only for ourselves.

Today, ask God to give you the strength to encourage others who succeed.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder