Celebrating the Success of Others, Even When No One is Celebrating You

For the summer break, I’ve decided to encore some impactful stories that are still relevant in my life today. I wrote the below blog during the first track season following Kennedi’s injury. I remember struggling terribly as all the athletes on her team continue their pursuits while she was sidelined and recovering.

Unfortunately, this year I still experienced some similar emotions, so my words from two years ago are still speaking to me. While I cheered on our friends in high school and club who had amazing seasons, I couldn’t help but wistfully wish that Kennedi was among them, and wondered if she would ever re-experience the success she had in the past.

Even though I constantly write about accepting God’s will and plan for Kennedi, it is a continual process of having to release the dreams and desires that I have, while opening my heart and mind each day to the path that God is laying out for Kennedi., and trusting that it’s going to be pretty amazing!

If you are still grappling with others moving on, while you seem to stuck in place, know that you are not alone. Trust the process…God is at work.

I have a confession. I’m a recovering Hater.

OMG, I can’t believe I just typed that.

I’m getting better, but I sometimes may struggle to be happy for other athletes’ success if mine aren’t experiencing the same or greater success.

Now you know my terrible secret.

I’ve asked God to help me, but inevitably those horrible feelings creep in from time to time. As if someone else’s shine somehow diminishes my own children’s success.

How many times do we do that in everyday life? Someone gets a promotion? A new car? New home? Another straight-A report card proudly posted on social media (I admit, this one gets me frequently, as I wish my A/B students would just once give me an opportunity to post their perfect scores).

As I looked to the Word of God for direction for how I handle my feelings, I kept coming back to today’s Steady State verse – one that I’ve known most of my life, but never really paid much attention to.

Rejoice with those who rejoice.

Romans 12:15 NIV

On one particular day, I was still contemplating why I couldn’t shake the negative feelings I was having at someone else’s recent success – and I implored the Holy Spirit to speak to me. And right there He revealed to me – it was due to my selfishness and self-centered thoughts. I was interpreting the success of another as a reflection on me (or my family) and not understanding that it was just truly about the other person. If only I would take myself out of the equation, I could easily be happy and rejoice with and for someone else.

Was it that simple? Was I able to easily shake off those selfish thoughts when the opportunity came to celebrate someone else’s success? Not at first. But what helped was that every time I felt those ugly feelings creeping in, I had to shut them down simply by telling myself

It’s not even ABOUT you!”

Or sometimes a different emphasis “It’s not EVEN about you!”

And the more I reprimanded myself in the moment, the feelings would scatter, and I could celebrate and enjoy others’ successes.

And in recent months, I was able to sincerely celebrate the recent scholarship signings for many of our friends’ children to big-name D-1 schools on athletic scholarships, even while continually fighting off fearful thoughts about my own child’s future.

Their success had nothing to do with mine or my husband’s or our children’s success. Their shine didn’t dim our light. We were the same people after their success as we were before. And furthermore, our identity should be tied to who God created us to be, and not our performance.

So, I implore you to rejoice and celebrate with your friend, neighbor, co-worker, and teammate on their success – no hating is necessary. Let’s work on being amazing cheerleaders for our circles of influence.

I believe God smiles when we overcome our selfish tendencies and show we have a heart for others. And then He can freely trust us to handle the success He has planned for our lives, while keeping us humble enough to remember that every blessing comes from Him.


Can you be happy for someone else’s success, even if you aren’t experiencing any in your life?

How can you start celebrating the achievements of those around you? Pray and ask God to provide direction if you need help in this area, and then practice rejoicing in the accomplishment of others.



Thank you for the plan you have for my life, even though sometimes I may feel disappointed with how things are going. Please help me to trust You, even when I’m feeling uncertain or unhappy about my current condition or circumstances.

Please help me to rejoice in the success and achievements of those around me, as I patiently walk through this unique life that you have destined just for me. Show me all the ways your hand is moving in my life, as I remember that my identity is found in you, and not anything that I have or will do.

In Jesus Name, Amen

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Published by Tonya May Avent

Child of God. Wife of 20 years to basketball fanatic and coach. Mom to teenage daughters and amazing athletes. Tonya is an award-winning author whose writing has been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Guideposts magazine. Her first book, Using God’s Playbook for the Game of Life: 52 Scriptures Your Young Athlete Should Know Before Sending Them Off Into the World was released in October 2022.

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