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Sorrow Is Better than Laughter (Ecclesiastes 7:3)

Introductory Thoughts

Most people would readily admit that they would rather laugh than cry. Yet, these are not God’s thoughts concerning the matter (Isaiah 55:8-9). According to the Bible, “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better” (Ecclesiastes 7:3). Laughter seems much more enjoyable than sorrow, yet life’s lessons are learned much faster from sorrow than they are from amusement. Sorrow teaches us and molds us into better servants for the Lord. This does not mean that laughter is evil or harmful. It simply means that from God’s perspective, sorrow is a much better teacher. Solomon bluntly spoke of what he knew concerning laughter in Ecclesiastes 2:1-2. The Bible says that Solomon gave himself to mirth and pleasure. In the end, he found this mirth and pleasure to be vain.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Even though we dont necessarily like sorrow, it brings us closer to God. When the psalmist found troubles and sorrow, he prayed (Psalm 116:3-4). His ongoing troubles also caused him to turn to Gods word and learn it (Psalm 119:71).
  • (For everyone): Laughter is enjoyable but often ends in heaviness (Proverbs 14:13). In what ways does laughter offer a temporary escape from the cares of the world?
  • How is sorrow a better teacher than laughter? What are some times of sorrow in your life where you learned the most? What are some times of laughter where you learned?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to help you see things from His perspective.
  • Ask the Lord to give you laughter and sorrow in His time.