Sorrow (representing in the A.V. many Hebrew and several Greek words), mental pain or grief, arising from the privation of some good we actually possessed. It is the opposite to joy. This passion contracts the heart, sinks the spirit, and injures the health. Scripture cautions against it (Pr 25:20; Ecclesiastes 14:13; 30:24, 25; 1Th 4:13, etc.), but Paul distinguishes two sorts of sorrow — one a godly, the other a worldly sorrow (2Co 7:10): "Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death." So the wise man (Ec 7:3) says that the grave and serious air of a master who reproves is more profitable than the laughter and caresses of those who flatter. Our Lord upbraided that counterfeit air of sorrow and mortification which the Pharisees affected when they fasted, and cautioned his disciples against all such affectation which proposes to gain the approbation of men (Mt 6:16). SEE GRIEF. Though sorrow may be allowable under a sense of sin, and when involved in troubles, yet we must beware of an extreme. Sorrow, indeed, becomes sinful and excessive when it leads us to slight our mercies, causes us to be insensible to public evils; when it diverts us from duty, so oppresses our bodies as to endanger our lives, sours the spirit with discontent, and makes us inattentive to the precepts of God's Word and to the advice of our friends. In order to moderate our sorrows, we should consider that we are under the direction of a wise and merciful Being; that he permits no evil to come upon us without a gracious design;. that he can make our troubles sources of spiritual advantage; that he might have afflicted us in a far greater degree; that though he has taken some, yet he has left many other comforts; that he has given many promises of relief; that he has supported thousands in as great troubles as ours; finally, that the time is coming when he will wipe away all tears, and give to them that love him a crown of glory that fadeth not away. SEE RESIGNATION.
⇒Bible concordance for SORROW.