The scriptures tell us that sorrow is better than laughter because by sorrow the heart is comparatively made better.
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. (Ecclesiastes 7:2-3)
When Adam plunged mankind into his sinful state, man’s heart became astray from God. Although Jesus may have redeemed man from his penalty for sin, man’s heart is still affected by it. As man grows in grace and is progressively sanctified by the working of the Holy Spirit, his heart over comes sin’s effect and is made better or more closely to how God intends for man to be. It is through sorrow that man recognizes his weakness and need for God. Although the sorrowful event may appear to present God as uncaring or devoid of love, it is really the opposite. God wants our hearts in fellowship with him and for us to be conformed to the image of his son. He accomplishes this work in the heart of man. It is for our betterment that he allows these events to occur.
If sorrow is to make the heart better, we would be wise in helping people as they endure sorrow and experience the work that will change or make their heart better. The Scriptures admonish us that if you have the opportunity to celebrate with people or mourn with others, you would be better to mourn with the mournful. Consider that when celebrating with those feasting, there is no burden to bear, but those in mourning need help to bear their heavy burden. As we help those who are hurting, it will be taken to heart because the heart was greatly relieved and touched.
Helping others through hurt does not mean that we need to take the hurt away. That is impossible for us to do, but with empathy and compassion, we can carry the hurt with them. While living our lives, we must strive to recognize and focus on the sorrowful needs of others. It should be easy to find hurting people because it seems that in some way everybody is hurting.
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