Gospel Gab: The right kind of sorrow

Ava Hicks, Staff Writer

Quotes on dark backgrounds speaking of deep internal struggles and displaying extreme teenage angst. Television shows depicting sorrowful girls struggling with a breakup or high school students battling low self-esteem increased by pressures to look and act a certain way. Slow, mellow tunes singing melodious lyrics of suppressed sadness and floods of tears.

Our society is no stranger to these events, and for most people, they induce strong feelings of sorrow and helplessness. Obviously, these are not emotions that are desired or enjoyed by the majority, yet the media tends to portray them as almost romantic.

Sadness is not an emotion that leaves any room for the portrayal of mystery or glamour. When your heart is truly aching and the tears are flowing, there is no voice in the back of your mind remarking on how romantic the situation is.

Even so, heartache is a necessity because it is our body’s way of handling trauma or grief. When something detrimental happens, our physiological response is to cry and mourn, focusing all of our attention on the distress. If we didn’t have the ability to grieve, our body would just hold in all of the tension and stress and this would only worsen our mental state.

The Bible recognizes that sorrow is a part of being human. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

In fact, studies show that shedding some tears can actually be very healthy. A good cry reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, removes toxins from your body and can even reduce your risk of heart disease. Plus, it simply calms you down and has a relaxing, freeing effect.

While sorrow certainly is difficult, the Bible tells us to continually rejoice in our sorrows and know that our hardships are working together to mold us into better people. Finding joy in such a low state of mind is easier said than done, but can absolutely be accomplished through faith and hope.

That being said, we have become so fixated on glamorizing sadness that we lose the benefits that emerge from experiencing true sorrow. If our tears are only shed in order to seem wistful and delicate as part of some picture painted by society, Jesus cannot properly work in our hearts and use those sorrows for our good.

2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” This emphasizes the distinct type of sorrow we should be embracing—the kind that brings us on our knees before God and allows Him to transform our sadness into healing.

Even when we seem to be at the very bottom, it is comforting to know that God has unexplainably greater things in store for us. Because where there is sorrow, there is joy, and “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).