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Congratulations?



Can I use the word "Congratulate" in reference to someone who is happy about their decision, but I disagree with it?


If a person I meet is (in my opinion) about to take the wrong job, marry the wrong person, or make another choice that they see as good, right, and happy, but I know will bring them pain later... can I really be happy for them, or congratulate them?

That was the question my wife and I pondered the other night. So I looked up the meaning of the word "Congratulate".

congratulation (n.) mid-15c., from Latin congratulationem (nominative congratulatio), noun of action from past participle stem of congratulari "wish joy," from com-"together, with" (see com-) + gratulari "give thanks, show joy," from gratus "agreeable" (see grace (n.)).
Congratulate (Dictionary.Com)verb (used with object), congratulated, congratulating.1. to express pleasure to (a person), as on a happy occasion: They congratulated him on his marriage.2. Archaic. to express sympathetic joy or satisfaction at (an event).3. Obsolete. to salute.
Congratulate 1828.mshaffer.com
CONGRATULATE, v.t. [L., grateful, pleasing. See Grace.] To profess ones pleasure or joy to another on account of an event deemed happy or fortunate, as on the birth of a child, success in an enterprise, victory, escape from danger, &c.; to wish joy to another. We congratulate the nation on the restoration of peace.

Formerly this verb was followed by to. The subjects of England may congratulate to themselves. But this use of to is entirely obsolete. The use of with after this verb, I congratulate with my country, is perhaps less objectionable, but is rarely used. The intransitive sense of the verb may therefore be considered as antiquated, and no longer legitimate.

The word is build from parts. Con is originally "Com" as in "together, with" (see com-) + Gratulari "give thanks, show joy". I am coming together with you, and joining you in your joy.

If I disagree with your decision, I can't really do that. If I truly believe your decision will bring you pain and not joy long term, I will be obligated to either be silent, or warn you of impending danger. 

So, no. I cannot congratulate you on your choice.

What can I do, without ruining our relationship/friendship? 

I can pray you are filled with the wisdom of God, and through that wisdom that you find Shalom (nothing missing, nothing broken, everything (inducing your decision making) whole and complete).

So when presented with a card celebrating your marriage to a person you shouldn't have married... I'll simply write "May you be filled with the Wisdom and find Shalom"... or maybe just "Shalom! DW". 

The wonderful part of that, is I can write this on any card, even those I do agree with. It's good for the whole family!

********


Story Teller | Creative | INFJ | Intellection | Learner | Ideation | Achiever | Input | Multipotentialite

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About Me

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Hi! My name is Darrell G. Wolfe. I am a wealth of random information and I make complicated things simple at DarrellWolfe.com.

I have a knack for absorbing information, breaking it down to its root elements, and teaching it to others.

Most importantly, I help purpose-driven people to understand their place in His-Story and provide them the tools they need to fulfill their unique position of opportunity and influence in this world (their Topos).