“Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation!”

DCF 1.0

Summoned by my parents, I stood there ashamed! I had been caught! I was guilty! And oh, the scolding I took! They were disappointed! They were angry (and they had every right to be)! I had fouled up big time! Grounded! Restitution required! “Make it right!” they said. I felt so guilty! I blurted out my apologies! I asked for forgiveness! I assured them I would do what was right – What was required! To my relief, they assured me of their love, their forgiveness, their confidence that I would follow through…

Sound like anything you’ve ever experienced? I hope so! Grief over personal failures and sin can be redemptive! It was for me! It was for the Corinthian believers…
We are not sure what their sin – their failure – was… But it was bad enough that it caused Apostle Paul to make a personal visit to the church followed up by a “severe letter,” dealing with the situation (2 Corinthians 2:1-11)…
Here is what he said about their response… “Even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it – though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting! For you felt a godly grief… Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation, whereas worldly grief produces death. See what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you! What eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal!” (from 2 Corinthians 7:8-11)
Perhaps God has been dealing with you about something! Perhaps a caring Christian friend has confronted you about an issue in your life… And you know you are guilty! It hurts! Of course it hurts! And you’re ashamed… You’re tempted to defend yourself, but you know you’re wrong! May I be one voice urging you to turn your shame into “godly grief” and see the failure become a redemptive opportunity! God will honor you with His forgiveness and grace (and I believe others will as well)! How do I know? I’ve experienced it!

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