This involuntary release of emotional grief, remorse, pain, frustration or joy is an outlet that helps bring relief.

Peter was convicted by his conscience and cried tears of repentance after he had denied knowing Jesus (Mt 26:75). In contrast, Judas, although remorseful for his actions, did not seek relief from the

What brings me to tears?

sin in the only fully restorative way – repentance (Mt 27:3). Peter was forgiven; Judas was not as he did not ask for forgiveness. Do I ever cry over my sin, and the pain it causes Jesus, or just shed a tear of regret for being found out? Have I ever wept tears of gratitude for what Jesus has done for me (Lk 7:37-50)?  Jesus records all the tears we have cried, the suffering we have endured for His sake. We recieve comfort knowing He is with us, and so we don't need to be afraid of anything man does to us (Ps 56:8,9,11).

Jesus wept at the resistance of the people of Jerusalem to accept Him, at the death of Lazarus, and when facing the cross He submitted Himself to God with prayers and tears (Lk 19:41, 22:41-44; Jn 11:35; Heb 5:7). On the way to the crucifixion the followers of Jesus wept, but later their grief would be turned to joy (Lk 23:27; Jn 16:20, 20:20).

Even grown men weep in anguish of heart and we should empathize with others in their situation (1 Sam 20:41, 30:4; Ps 6:6; Act 20:19; Rom 12:15). From the long-term perspective the calamities of life that cause us pain can become character formers when handled correctly (Mt 5:4; Lk 6:21; Jn 20:13-16; Rom 5:3; 1 Pet 1:6,7). Paul wept when he had to reprimand his fellow believers but he cared enough to confront them (2 Cor 2:4). The ungodly conduct of others gives pain to a good person; and the necessity of administering reproof and discipline is often as painful to those administering it, as it is to those who are the subjects of it. If we ignore their behaviour and let them continue we aren't showing genuine love. Love means honestly sharing our concern.

Esau sold his inheritance right as the oldest son for a single meal when he was famished, disregarding it's significance (Gen 25:29-34). It was only later when he went to claim this privilege that the far reaching repercussions of his bad choice became evident.  In anguish of heart and with tears his prior hasty unwise decision could not be reversed – he could not regain what he had forfeited (Gen 27:34,38; Heb 12:16,17). Consequences are painful.

Do we weep over the lost and for fellow believers to come into a greater level of maturity "of Christ being formed in them" by praying intensely for this to come about – those who “sow in tears reap in joy” (Ps 126:5,6; Act 20:31; Gal 4:19; Phil 3:18)?  We should grieve for those who will be doomed to the fires of hell if they continue in unrepentance. There, there will be ongoing weeping while, for the redeemed in heaven, God will wipe away all tears, whatever the cause (Mt 13:41,42; Rev 7:17, 21:4).

See also: consequences, emotions, grief, sad, sorrow.


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