Friday, February 19, 2010

Tears: Repent or Regret?

As one bible study I have been enjoying comes to an end, I find myself anxious and excited for a new one. This time it is just me, so I decide to do a more in depth one through 2 of my favorite books, Ruth & Esther. The study is one of 3 in a series for women, and the title is "Pathway to God's Plan". Now I am not a believer in coincidences, I know for sure God has put this book into my lap for a reason because now on day 3 I am already finding so many truths that have their perfect timing in when I need to hear them! I guess this means I am already on my pathway to God's plan.
Today the truth I have found that spoke to me is on tears. I have shed many tears over my life. Even in elementary through junior high school, I was a crier, and I often got made fun of for it. By high school I had learned to be a bit more in control of my emotions, but to this day I still am a very emotional person, which really means, I cry, A LOT! I have come to appreciate it as part of a gift of compassion God has bestowed on me. But I have never thought much about what the tears actually mean until now.
There of tears of joy, when you are so full of happiness it can't help but be spilled out! And tears of sympathy, one I am particularly susceptible to, it is a fact, if someone else is crying within 50 feet of me, no matter the reason, I will end up shedding some tears! Of course we can't forget the tears of sorrow, often these happen when your heart is weighed down by grief over losing someone or some tragic accident has occured, these are the tears we long to never have spilled but are the most unavoidable of all. And then there are two more types of tears to be named.
The first are tears of regret. We regret making that decision to abort a baby, or that one night stand. Maybe we regret not going to church when we know God was calling us there, or saying hurtful words to our family; taking the wheel when we know we have had too much to drink, we regret. Many of our sins fall into this catergory. We often cry tears of regret over mistakes, major and minor. Tears of regret can also seek an audience, they long for sympathy from others, as well as to stew in their own self-pity, knowing nothing is going to change. Tears of regret reflect back on our pasts but don't make any move towards a change.
Next are the tears of repentence. These are the tears that don't look back. These are the tears that say, I know I have made mistakes in the past, we have all sinned, but I want to change and look toward the future. I want to turn away from those mistakes and look toward God. You shed these tears in your heart, no actor can ever win an award for these tears portrayed on screen or off, because they cannot be faked or forced. These tears are between you and God, they are a symbol that you want to change your heart and life. And you can't fool God, He knows what is in your heart. He knows which tears are of regret and which are of genuine repentance.
What tears do you cry today? Are you crying true tears of repent to the Lord or just the tears of regret to yourself? We need to remember to always check our hearts, are we being genuine with God, because He knows when we honestly desire a God-centered change, or when we are hoping for self-centered sympathy.

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

1 comment:

  1. That is some gift you have there. Thank you for sharing this. I, too, have been a crier all my life. The self-centered tears came more than any others. Once I got past those, I found myself not crying as much. I still cry, and sometimes they are selfish tears, but now that I have heard this, you have made me more aware to search my heart when I cry. Thank you again.


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Thank you so much for sharing!