There is a funny video on You Tube. A manipulative toddler falls to the ground crying, trying to get his mother’s sympathy. She walks out of the room.
He sees that she is no longer watching his masterpiece of drama, so he finds her and falls to the ground again, wailing his pain.
She leaves, the toddler follows and the show repeats itself. (See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQtpRjBLXic ) Those tears make us laugh. Most often manipulative waterworks aren’t funny, though.
All Kinds of Tears
All tears aren’t bad. We cry for a lot of reasons.
We might blubber because we feel sorry for ourselves. “Poor me. What an unjust lot I have in life.”
“Get the camera mama. This ought to be on You Tube!”
Sometimes we weep because we really do hurt and tears are our heart’s overflow.
Often we weep when we lose someone dear to us. That’s normal and even healthy.
Would it surprise you to learn that one of the greatest men of God was a bit of a crybaby? Listen to Paul.
“…in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews …
Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. (Acts 20:31, NKJV)
Tears in the battle. Tears because he was deadly serious in trying to get men to God and eternal life. There was probably a big dose of tears of intercession mixed in. And yes, don’t forget tears of joy.
This ministry of tears produced fruit—men with tender hearts. “And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more.” (Acts 20:36-38, NKJV)
He warned them to watch out for wolves, false teachers destroying the flock with division.
They evidently went home and went to work with enthusiasm. Flash forward maybe 35 years when God speaks directly to this church: “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.” (Revelations 2, NKJV)
Whoa. Way to go Ephesus! Great doctrine. Hard work. Perseverance. What a church! Wait, that’s not all …
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”
In danger of being removed! What happened? I think it boils down to one thing. They had no more tears. Their hearts were no longer sensitive to God. Lots of heat and light but very little of the compassionate heart of God.
So, what was the cure? Remember, repent, and start to work with the same attitude that they had in the beginning. They needed to ask God to restore their tears.
One of my friends has a tender heart before the Lord. When God touches him he often cries. He confided to me once, though, that because of a trial he had lost his tears. He wasn’t touched like before. And it worried him.
He worked it out with God, though, and his tears came back.
Washington Irving said, “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.” –
And you? Are you a “crybaby?”