Thursday, June 17, 2010

2 Corinthians 7: Godly Sorrow

We all sin.
Every one of us falls short of living as God planned.
We don't necessarily like people to point it out.

I avoided accountability relationships for a long time.
I was well aware of my own failings and didn't need anyone else to point them out.
I grieved over my failings. I cried. I mourned.

The thing is, the awareness of sin in our lives should produce sadness.
We have disappointed God, and we want to please him.

There are two types of sadness about sin.
The kind that produces guilt and shame, that keeps us from turning to God and receiving his grace.

That was the kind I specialized in.
Let's just say that this type of sadness kept me from developing true spiritual community.
It kept me from accepting God's love.
It kept me from receiving his grace.

The second type of sadness is what Paul calls "godly sorrow."

Paul says, "Godly sorrow produces repentance that leads to salvation . . . worldly sorrow leads to death." (7:10)

Godly sorrow changes our hearts.
Worldly sorrow separates us from God.

Paul boldly speaks out against sin in order to produce godly sorrow, which does not harm, but which draws people to God.

He speaks with love.
His motives are clear.

When we speak out against sin, we must be sure we do not condemn them. We must be sure we do not produce shame, worldly sorrow.

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