There’s something that’s been bothering me lately. Well, OK, a lot of things bother me, but that’s what I get for being an Idealist. I’m a regular church goer, and there’s this rumor that flits around churchy-type-circles that you have to be happy all of the time. It is generally held that the more emotionally steady (clears throat, stagnant) you are, then the more spiritual you must be. Now, in all fairness, I CAN see the bunny trail that leads many people to this conclusion:
1 Peter 3: 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (Paul)
But does this mean we have to plaster on our perfect smile every moment of every day (or at least when other people are looking) or could it be that maybe, just maybe, we are taking this a tad too far? Let’s take a closer look.
Psalms 6:6 (King David) I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
Genesis 45:2 And he (Joseph) wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
2 Samuel 19:1 And it was told Joab, Behold, the king (David) weepeth and mourneth for Absalom.
Mark 14: 72 And the second time the cock crow. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
John 11:35 Jesus wept.
Acts 20: 37 Any they all wept sore, and they fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,
You get the picture.
So…. If being a truly spiritual person means you have to be stoic, then was King David lacking in faith, Paul… Or how about Jesus? If Jesus really, truly, had (um) Jesus in his heart, would he have wept? Hmmmm…..
Or what if, maybe, we are seeing this through Greco Roman lenses. (Yes, you heard me right). Now, take a look at your hand. If you are white, then you most likely have a Roman mind set. (Remember, at one point Rome had taken over most of the known world!) I’m a mix of Scottish/Cherokee/Jew. (Probably, many of you are a mix of different races too.)
1 Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
The Jews were looking for a sign, because they are a passionate people who long to experience life. The Greeks want to reason everything through, because they value reason. Now, I’m not trying to bash either point of view, but I do wish people would understand that we do not all see life through the same glasses.
In conclusion… could all this stoicism actually be a remnant of the Greek mindset? After all, even Yahshua (Jesus) wept. Why can’t we? I do. Because I’m a really bad actor. When I’m happy I’m happy, and when I’m sad I’m sad. This does not make me less (or more) spiritual than the next person. It just makes me different.
All verses are out of the King James Version of the bible. Parentheses are mine. Reference: Our Father Abraham, the Jewish roots of the Christian faith by Marvin R. Wilson