Crying

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I have read a lot of articles and watched videos online and noticed when the topic focuses on emotional stories that typically ended positively people will use humor to minimize showing emotion about how things turned out.

For example I have seen comments jokingly blaming the presence of ninjas cutting onions and referencing other silly things to avoid simply admitting the raw emotional response to the story without any buffer. Of course, this is not just online. When someone is making a speech in front of others and starts to cry it is not unusual for the person to apologize for showing what is deemed to be a negative response even if the tears are for a positive reason and it seems there is even more pressure to avoid showing tears out of sorrow in some cases. From childhood people are told not to cry when they are feeling pain and we thoroughly conditioned to believe it is wrong to cry in response to circumstances. But why?

The idea that one should never display tears is not promoted in the Bible. The Torah shows the public expression of sorrow was not something that was suppressed in Jewish culture. “So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.” 1 Samuel 30:3-4. The King David says of God. “You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” Psalm 56:8. After being reunited with his brother the Torah says of Joseph “Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck.” Genesis 45:14. Both tears of sadness and joy were welcomed in the Bible.

I thought emotions were pretty stupid for a while because I didn’t see a point. However, I saw in the Torah “Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth.’” Genesis 1:26. So we should not view emotions are pointless or weak because we are made in the image of God and emotions are part of what makes us like God. “In all their troubles he was troubled; then the Angel of His Presence saved them; in his love and pity he redeemed them. He had lifted them up and carried them throughout the days of old. However, they rebelled, they grieved his Holy Spirit; so he became their enemy and himself fought against them.” Isaiah 63:9-10

Emotions can lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and others because our feelings can reveal our priorities and desires. Instead of suppressing our emotions and not taking the time to evaluate reasons behind our feelings we should seek to understand as the wise King Solomon said “As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person.” Proverbs 27:19. It is only when we allow ourselves to see the kind of people we really are without a buffer that we are able to make any needed changes or adjustments in how we relate to others and even how we think of ourselves.

Of course we should not allow our feelings overcome our ability to reason, but we should also not allow our desire for reason to lead us to simply dismiss feelings as irrational without any evaluation at all because God gave us emotions for a reason. Before writing off feelings as worthless or unworthy to be expressed remember we were made in the image of God and since emotions were given to us by the Divine Being we must treat the ability to express and feel emotions with respect and manage emotions responsibility instead of minimizing or misusing the emotions God has gave us.

Picture originally found here

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