Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Diet of Tears

            “My tears have been my meat day and night…” (Psalm 42:3)

        If you looked in my Bible on the page where this text is found, you would find that I have written this succinct bit of warning: “Stop feeding on your emotions!” I understand the heartrending context of these words; yet even David chides himself in the last verse of this chapter by saying, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?”

        It is easy to become a servant to our emotions; and although women may be more prone to this weakness than man, it is, by no means, gender based. This is dangerous, since, as I have said before, our emotions are the shallowest part of our nature. Granted, they are an important means of expression to love, sorrow, and sympathy, even joy—especially when words are inadequate. But they can take on a life their own apart from all logic, reason…and truth. 

        They, like everything else in the Christian’s life, should first of all glorify God. If any earthly love dulls in any way our love for God, it is idolatry; and if His great love for us is not the motivating factor in our Christian service, our sympathy is misplaced. If our broken heart over a wayward child is more important than an aggrieved Heavenly Father’s, we are jealous of our grief. And if our spiritual joy is only displayed at church, we should ask ourselves if that is what it is: mere display.

       Emotions—especially tears—are a wonderful gift from God. They are release valves for the pent up pressures of life. But the wise man or woman treats them like precious china or silver, brought out for special occasions. They will then mean more to us…and to others.

       God has said, “I have seen thy tears.” Should that not be enough for any of us? 

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