“Moderation in all things” is not a bad motto. As with almost everything else, it applies to the sphere of mourning. On the one hand, there is a time to weep… a time to mourn (Eccl 3:4). We live in a fallen world and the days are evil (Eph 5:16). Tombstones around the globe stand as silent witnesses of death’s shadow which permeates every facet of human existence. Daily the obituaries testify to the passing of one generation and the rise of another (Eccl 1:4). In this scenario it is appropriate to grieve. Abraham mourned for his beloved Sarah (Gen 23:2), all Israel grieved the death of Samuel (1 Sam 25:1), and Jesus Himself wept for His dear friend Lazarus (Jn 11:35). Such sorrow is natural and expected. With it comes no shame or culpability. On the other hand, one must not indulge his grief overmuch. Like any passion excessively coddled, sorrow can become a snare to godly living. For example, the disciples failed to support their Master in His hour of greatest need because they were found sleeping for sorrow (Lk 22:45). Even after Christ’s command to pray and His warning of temptation, they slept because their souls were exhausted from the grievous news about His sufferings and betrayal.
So the proper course, the right way is to moderate our sorrows under God’s providential dealings. In this vale of tears we will suffer. Our Lord Himself showed that godly grief is both good and right. Yet as believers in a wise and gracious providence we must not let our losses and disappointments master our hearts. “Moderation in all things.” The extremes are worldly – all or nothing, overindulged heartache or callous insensitivity. The balance is Christian – a measured, faith-filled godly grief. The one produces death, the other leads to salvation without regret (2 Cor 7:10). Let us not grieve as others do who have no hope (1 Thess 4:13). For Jesus died and rose again. Hallelujah!