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Do You Cry for Others?

(The following is the March 29 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Luke 19 and pay close attention to verses 41-44.)

Scripture mentions three times Jesus wept. In John 11:35, he wept amid the grieving of family and loved ones for his deceased friend, Lazarus. The agony Jesus faced in the Garden of Gethsemane led him to offer “prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears” (Heb. 5:7). As Jesus approached Jerusalem in Luke 19, he was filled with compassion and wept for its people. He knew the difficult times ahead for them, which brought him to tears.

We cry in response to many circumstances. We may do so when hurt physically or emotionally, when troubles disrupt our lives and dash our hopes, and when loved ones pass from this life to the next. Tears may even flow because of touching stories, acts of kindness, and advertising that tugs at our hearts.

Crying is part of being the emotional creatures God designed us to be. It is not a sign of weakness – nothing to hide from others or feel shame concerning. We differ in what may bring us to tears and how often, but that is also a testimony to God’s creativity in how uniquely he made us.

Unlike us, Jesus’ crying was primarily for others rather than himself. The pain of human death and sorrow in the Lazarus story perhaps brought tears because Jesus ached at sin’s consequences in our fallen world. As he entered Jerusalem days before his crucifixion, he mourned more for the coming woes of its citizens than for his imminent agony on the cross. What wondrous love Jesus showed.

It is not wrong to cry for ourselves or about matters impacting our lives, but do we shed tears for others as our compassionate Savior did?

Next Step:

Ask God for such a deep love for others that you more readily weep for them than yourself. Pray earnestly for someone lost or in need. Pray regularly as long as the need exists. Can you help meet the need?

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