Paul teaches us that there are two different kinds of sorrow. There is Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. It’s important for us to understand what is Godly sorrow.
“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Paul points out in today’s Bible verse, the results of those two sorrows. Godly sorrow brings about repentance, which leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly sorrow brings spiritual death (eternal separation from God)
Repentance is not something that comes naturally to us, and more often than not, we do not like feeling that way.
Godly sorrow understands that sin is a transgression to God. Godly sorrow is not sorry for being caught. Godly sorrow is sorry for sinning against God. Paul tells us that having Godly sorrow produces repentance.
When the Bible speaks of repentance, it is a two-part process:
Repentance starts with an internal heart change and a change of mind that becomes an external change of life. These are two important parts, and you can’t have repentance if you don’t have both of these two parts.
Having the internal change of mind does no good if it doesn’t follow up with a life changed. You can change your mind all you want, but if it does not change your life and change who you are, then you have missed the point.
There is no value in changing your mind unless it changes your life.
Repentance is not an external change of life without the internal change of heart and mind. Too often, repentance is emphasized as changing the external, failing to recognize that those external changes are only of value if they come from the internal change of heart and mind.
You can pray and ask forgiveness all you want, but if you have not allowed a heart change on the inside first, you do not have repentance.
What we learn is that repentance and guilt are not the same things. Just because you feel sorry and grief, that does not mean you have exhibited Godly sorrow. Godly sorrow is upset at sinning against God. Because we are upset at sinning against God, we make an internal change of heart and mind, which leads to an external change of life.
Notice what Paul says is the result of this Godly sorrow that leads to repentance: salvation. This is what is required of us to receive the mercy and the grace of God.
We can allow God to change our lives. We can allow this sorrow to produce repentance in our lives. Realize that these activities are not bringing us happiness, but guilt upon guilt. Come to Jesus, where you can let that guilt go and let Him carry your guilt. Start right now and end a life of regret and find forgiveness in Jesus.
Do you need to change anything in your life today?