Leaky Eyes

Our emotions are a wonderful gift from God.  We cry during sad movies.  We cry when someone we love dies.  We cry when God’s wonderful presence comes during times of intense worship and prayer times.  Some of us cry when we’re happy! 
For sure, crying has therapeutic value.  God gave us tear ducts to serve as a release valves.  When the pressures of life mount, we let off stress through tears.  One day I asked my then two-year-old granddaughter Madison why she was crying.  She responded, “Papa, my eyes are leaking!”
In my dealings with people over 41 years of ministry I discovered that some cry because they have unresolved anger issues in their life.  Frankly, I’m suspect when someone can’t talk without bursting into tears.  This may suggest that unresolved anger finds surface expression through crocodile tears!  In other words, he or she masks their real issues with tears. We must understand that crying is designed to free us, not to justify ongoing negative behavior. Let me explain by talking about a “crier” whose story is partially told in the book of Genesis 27:30-40.  He cried crocodile tears – insincere and anger-filled. 
It is the story of Jacob, who deceived his brother Esau by tricking his blind father and stealing the family blessing that was rightfully Esau’s.  While we might understand Esau’s anger, we see where any tears he shed were misdirected.  Esau was a hothead who cried, not because he was sorry for his behavior, but because he had murder in his heart.  His tears were produced by unresolved anger that went unchecked.  He was not honest with himself!
Hebrews 12:17 gives additional insight into Esau’s character:  “For you knew that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.”  Believe me.  His tears were anger induced.  He was emotionally and spiritually undeveloped.  He did not cry because he was repentant.  He cried because he wanted to kill his deceitful brother! 
Rejection – real or perceived – leads to anger.  Healing does not come through crying alone.  It comes through release and by offering forgiveness.  Legitimate crying often accompanies release.  What kinds of things do we release through tears?  Here are just a few:  Sin, forgiveness, bitterness, hurts, anger, offenses, wounds of the past, pressures of every day life, and of course, rejection.
Many times the validity of a person’s salvation experience is gauged by how much he cries.  However, I’ve seen criers repeat the “Sinner’s Prayer” and then walk out the church doors never to return.  On the other hand, I’ve seen very contemplative people who showed little or no emotion, go on to become stalwart Christians. 
Both 1 John 1:9 and Romans 10:9-10 say, “If we confess…”  They don’t say, “If we cry…”  To confess means to agree with what God says in His Word.  Crying that follows Biblical confession more than likely results in changed behavior. 
As a child I used to cry when I knew I was in trouble.  I cried, hoping to lessen my punishment.  It seldom worked!  The proof lies, not in how much we cry, but in how much we release to God.  A lot of crying people leave church altars still full of anger.  I’m thankful for a salvation that touches my emotions, but I’m more thankful for a salvation that goes deep to pull out hidden sins – including unresolved anger like Jacob exhibited. 
Remember, God gave us emotions to serve us, not to master us or serve as a smokescreen to the real issues at hand.  Healthy crying produces healthy results, and never produces “cry babies.”



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