Are Those Real Tears?

A devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb

Two recent news stories this week, from two different countries, shared a common theme.  In Bangkok, a competition has begun to see who can watch the works of a well known producer known for his tear jerking films and commercials.  This so called “digital spectator sport” involves the participants video taping themselves while attempting to watch the film or commercial without shedding a tear.  In the United States, President Obama’s tears on Tuesday, while speaking on gun control, have political pundits debating whether they were sincere.  Both stories have us wondering, “When are tears, real tears?”

When it comes to sin, there is one thing we can be certain of — genuine sorrow should involve our deepest emotions.  In 2 Corinthians 7:10, Paul writes that “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regrets, but worldly sorrow brings death.”  This kind of sorrow is a heartfelt remorse over offending God and disobeying His Word.  Godly sorrow, often accompanied by tears, is then followed by a desire to repent and change directions.  Worldly sorrow, on the other hand, may involve tears but they are meaningless because our behavior remains unchanged.  To receive forgiveness of sin,  we must be real before God because He knows us better than we know ourselves.  Maybe its time we start paying closer attention to our own tears, or lack of them, and what that reveals about our desire to walk with God.