In my last post, in light of Paul’s command to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15), we looked at 6 reasons Christians ought to rejoice. In this post, we will look at 3 reasons Christians ought to weep.
First, we should weep over our own sin.
In 1973, a psychiatrist named Karl Menninger wrote a provocative book titled, Whatever Became of Sin? In his book, Menninger argues that the idea or concept of sin has been slowly eroding away in our culture. Now, remember, this book was written in 1973. If we fast forward 45-years, we might want to call Menninger a prophet instead of a psychiatrist.
We’ve lost our moral compass. We’ve lost the idea of sin—personal sin.
We play the blame game. It’s not sin anymore; it’s just a mistake. And my “mistakes” aren’t really my fault.
- I do that because I had a bad home life growing up.
- I do that because everyone else is doing it.
- I do that because it feels good.
- I do that because I was just reacting to what this other person was doing to me.
- I do that because if I don’t look out for myself, no one else will.
Each one of us can pick our own excuses, but we’ve lost our since of personal responsibility. I don’t write these things to minimize the devastation that can come out of a bad home life, but at some point, we need to look in the mirror and take personal responsibility for our sin. We need to be broken over our own sin.
In Luke 7, Jesus had been invited to a certain Pharisee’s house to have dinner. And while Jesus is reclining at the dinner table, a certain woman from the community comes in and begins washing his feet with her tears. Luke records it this way.
38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.
The larger story has many important lessons. but I want to ask this question. Why was the woman weeping? Why was she weeping?
We know from the text that she was a notoriously sinful woman. Everyone in the room knew who she was. They knew of her reputation. Her reputation had preceded her. And I believe that gets to the heart of why she’s weeping.
She’s broken over her own sin, and she’s found in Jesus someone who doesn’t condemn her in her sin. She’s weeping over her own sin. There’s a lesson there to be learned by all of us.
Second, we should weep over the results of sin.
It’s one thing to weep over our own sin, but it’s another thing to weep over the results of sin. Here, too, our culture has missed the mark.
We often hear people talk about personal autonomy as if personal autonomy is the highest good. Here’s how that sounds. Someone will say, “I should be able to do whatever I want to do as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody.”
Right? We’ve all heard that before. It sounds simple enough. We might hear it and even be tempted to agree with it. But here’s the problem with it.
All of our actions cause reactions. Everything we do has an effect on someone else. This is Newton’s third law of motion put into action in a cultural sense.
Just in case you don’t know what Newton’s third law of motion is, this is what is says. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Now, I know, don’t send me any emails, I know that Newton was talking about physics when he said this. But I’m suggesting that this is also true in a cultural or moral sense.
Whenever we decide to do what God has told us should not be done, there will invariably be negative consequences. God, who is the author of all things that are good, who isn’t the author of anything evil—when we violate his good and perfect laws, there will always be negative consequences. In other words, when we sin, it always has a negative consequence. This is a fundamental rule of how the universe is created.
So, we should weep over sin, and we should weep over the results of sin.
In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul is chastising the believers in Corinth because they aren’t weeping over the sin of one of their church members.
1 Corinthians 5:2
2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
Without getting too far into the context of this passage, suffice it to say that this man was embroiled in sexual sin that even the pagans thought was out of bounds. The church in Corinth, however, thought they were being tolerant. They thought they were being loving. They wanted to look the other way. Paul said that was the worst thing they could do. Rather, they should have mourned over that man’s sins and the havoc it was creating in the community.
Third, we should weep for those who reject Christ.
The Bible is very clear in that there’s only one way that God has given us by which we can be put into a proper relationship with him, and that one way is through Jesus his Son. So, we should weep over those who reject Jesus. It should break our hearts.
If we get a bad haircut, it’ll be better in just a few weeks. Don’t weep over a bad haircut. Hair grows back quickly. It will grow out and we’ll soon forget the bad haircut.
If we land a bad job, we can get our resume ready, and with a little help, we’ll soon have new job. Don’t weep over a bad job.
If we make some bad financial decisions and have to declare bankruptcy, even then, in just seven years, we can rebuild your credit. Don’t weep over that.
But if we die after rejecting Jesus, we will spend an eternity in place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Luke 13:28), and there will be no relief for us.
Friends, this should cause all of us to weep for those who reject Christ.