2 Kings 8:1-9:13
2 Corinthians 7:8-16
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Focus Verses: 2 Corinthians 7:8-10
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— 9 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. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
his earlier letter to the Corinthians, Paul had confronted a number of
very serious issues. His bold rebukes resulted, initially, in the
Corinthians experiencing sorrow and hurt. The ultimate results, however,
were self-examination, repentance, renewal, change, and spiritual
maturity. Since the sorrow and hurt brought about good in the end, Paul
called it "godly sorrow."
Sorrow and hurt don't always
end with good results. So much depends upon how rebuke and confrontation
are received. Those who will not accept correction, and are unwilling
to be confronted with their failings, or are too proud to take
responsibility for their wrongs will not experience godly results.
Response and Action:
I teachable and willing to face criticism? Can I accept rebuke? Am I
willing to take responsibility for my wrong actions and attitudes? I
need to be able answer "yes" to these questions if I want to grow in
wisdom and integrity.
To truly follow in the way of
Jesus, I will need to face up to the ways I am so unlike him. I will
need to take ownership of my sin, so that in faith and repentance I can
take hold of God's grace to overcome it. When I am confronted with my
weaknesses and wrongs, I can choose to hold on to my hurt, or I can
choose a godly sorrow that produces positive and holy results in my
mercy on me, O God, a sinner. Give me the humility to see my need and
the grace to accept correction. Help my desire for godliness to outweigh
the hurt and sorrow of recognizing my failures. Help me to be quick to
repent of my sin and slow to sulk about it. Remind me of the glad
promise and hope I have in your power and your desire to make me more
like Jesus each day. I pray all this in his redeeming name. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Proverbs 27:5-6
5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Coming Home to Your True Self: Leaving the Emptiness of False Attractions
by Albert Haase