Sorrow

August 27, 2008
by John Stuart

2 Corinthians 7:10 – Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (NIV)

I can remember doing something stupid when I was a kid, and when my mother found out, I blamed my youngest brother for it. He got punished for what I did, and only after that, did I confess to my mother. She was absolutely furious with me, and I was really angry at her. I was sent packing to my room and told not to come out until I was sorry for what I did.

I mulled over my mistake, and I nursed my wrath. I was angry at myself for being stupid. I was angry at my mother for being angry with me. And I was angry for blaming David. It took me hours to get through my self-inflicted wounds, and eventually, when I was allowed out, I had to apologize to my mother, my brother, and the whole family who witnessed the event. It was so hard to do, and I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me, rather than my having to swallow my pride.

I also expected to be forgiven immediately, but I wasn't. No one in the house would speak to me for days. Not only did I feel sorry for what I had done, I began to feel ashamed. My family was teaching me a hard lesson, but it was good for me.

As Christians, we all make mistakes, and we are never perfect — not even close. If we belonged to the world, we could simply regret what we have done, and then move on. That's worldly sorrow, and in the end, it leads to death — death of our relationships, our spirits, and our consciences. But godly sorrow is much different. That's when we know that we have offended God and bring our confessions to Him, and then we wait. We wait for God to forgive us; we wait for Him to speak to us; we wait for God to give us permission to move on. This is what leads to life — life restored to God's favour, life learning about grace, life that leads to immortality.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You give us the opportunity to make U-turns in our lives. You allow us to confess our mistakes, face up to our failures, and confront our misdeeds. We need Your forgiveness to turn our lives around. We need to be patient to await Your mercy and grace. Be with us today and guide us by Your Holy Spirit. In Your name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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