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A Sorrow that Leads to Repentance

2Cor 7:8,9 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it-- I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while-- yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.

Now there's a phrase you'll seldom find used today in this feel society society, "Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it." In Christian ministry it's sometimes the right thing to do to write letters which cause people feel sorrow, making people feel hurt. Hurting people is part of Christian ministry as much as a it is necessary for a surgeon to cut open a patient with a knife.

Sometimes God intends for us to be sorrowful or calls us to make other people sorrowful. It's part of the ministry. Jesus made some people feel so hurt, so humiliate that they crucified him. But how joyful when sorrow leads one to repentance.

2Cor 7:10,11 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

Sorrow itself is not necessarily beneficial.  Worldly sorrows kills. Consider the seed among the thorns. The worries in life, apart from faith, can crush, cause bitterness and lead to further sin. But notice the effect of godly sorrow. An urgency to repent accompanies godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow only leads to regrets and not repentance. Those of a worldly sorrow simply regret the consequences of their sin, which is not the same as repenting from sin. But godly sorrow actually leads to one being ready to see justice done. Remember the thief on the cross, "We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Luke 23:41 That man went with Jesus to Paradise that very day. Rather than harm the person godly sorrow brings life.

So the next time someone makes you feel bad, consider how you might benefit from that.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Last Update: Oct 18, 2020