Saturday, March 02, 2019

Godly Sorrow Brings Repentance

Today's Reading:
2 Kings 8:1-9:13
2 Corinthians 7:8-16
Psalm 102:1-11
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Focus Verses: 2 Corinthians 7:8-10
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. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

In 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:
Am 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 life.

Have 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

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